The University of Greenwich was targeted by radicals during the time that Lee Rigby murderer Michael Adebolajo studied there, according to an official report.
Greenwich was a “significant centre for radical and extremist Islamic movements” concluded an independent internal review.
This mood spilled into the campus and there was evidence of “increased activism”. However the review concluded there was nothing to suggest the institution contributed to his radicalism.
Adebolajo and Michael Adebowale sparked national revulsion when they killed Fusilier Lee Rigby in the streets of Woolwich in May 2013. They were later convicted of his murder.
In the wake of the atrocity, vice chancellor David Maguire commissioned an independent inquiry to examine whether the killers had any connection to the institution and whether there had been any link between the university and their radicalisation.
The report revealed that Adebolajo had scraped into university to study surveying with a single E grade at A-level. He failed to pass his first year, and transferred in 2004 to start a politics degree.
The same year “his engagement with his studies appeared to have diminished although he submitted some pieces of assessment, the marks are indicative of a student not attending lectures or seminars,” said the report. “By 2005/06 he appeared not to be engaging at all.”
The panel behind the investigation concluded: “It is clear that, first, Adebolajo became increasingly disengaged during his time as a student and ceased to be involved as a student from the beginning of the academic year 2005/06 and, secondly, that during 2005/06 radical and extremist Islamic groups were active in the Greenwich vicinity outside the university.
“It is clear that the area in and around Greenwich was a significant centre for radical and extremist Islamic movements and that, just at the time that Adebolajo was disengaging from the university, there was a resurgence of campaigning linked with [hardline Islamic political organisation] Hizb-ut-Tahrir.”
It concluded: “We are clear that none of the university, the students’ union or its student societies contributed to the radicalisation.”
The report was published last year but has only just come to light.
Pictured above: Rebecca, the widow of Lee Rigby