LONDON — Police have charged a man with the murder of a British soldier in a suspected Islamic extremist attack in broad daylight.
Michael Adebowale, 22, was charged Wednesday by counterterrorism officers and will appear in court on Thursday, police said. He is one of two main suspects in the killing of Lee Rigby, 25, who was struck by a car and stabbed to death last week near his barracks in southeast London's Woolwich district.
Gruesome images that emerged after the attack showed two men wielding bloody knives and meat cleavers. Both men were shot and wounded by police.
Suspect Michael Adebolajo, 28, remains hospitalized and in stable condition. Adebowale was discharged from a hospital Tuesday and taken into custody. He also was charged with a firearms offense related to possessing a 9.4 mm revolver with the intent "to cause persons to believe that unlawful violence would be used," police said in a statement announcing the charges.
The charges, coming just hours after police said Rigby's autopsy showed he died from "multiple incised wounds," shed further light on the frenzied attack.
Witnesses reported seeing the soldier struck by a car, then set upon by two men wielding long knives and cleavers. Adebolajo, bloodied and clutching a cleaver, was seen in a video boasting about the attack and railing against the government.
The attack has raised questions about whether Britain's intelligence services could have done more to prevent Rigby's murder. British officials said the two main suspects had been known to them for some time as part of previous investigations.