13/03/2015 05:43 GMT | Updated 13/03/2015 05:59 GMT

'Increased Activism' At Greenwich University While Lee Rigby Killer Was A Student, Report Reveals

There was evidence of "increased activism" at Greenwich University during the time that one of Fusilier Lee Rigby's killers was studying for a degree there, according to a report for the institution.

An internal review concluded that there is nothing to suggest that the university, its student union or societies contributed to the radicalisation of Michael Adebolajo.

Michael Adebolajo (left) and Michael Adebowale (right) murdered Lee Rigby in May 2013

But it also found that the area around Greenwich was a "significant centre for radical and extremist Islamic movements" around 2004/05, and that it inevitably, life on and off campus interact.

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Fusilier Rigby's murder sparked shock across the country after he was run over with a car and then hacked to death by British Muslim converts Adebolajo and Michael Adebowale in Woolwich, south east London, on May 22, 2013.

Following an Old Bailey trial, Adebolajo was handed a whole-life prison term and Adebowale was jailed for a minimum of 45


In the wake of the murder, Greenwich University 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.

Lee Rigby

The final report, which was quietly published in the autumn, reveals that Adebolajo was unsuccessful in his first application to the university, but later gained a place to study Building Surveying through clearing, starting the course in the autumn of 2003.

He failed to pass his first year, and then transferred in autumn 2004 to start a Politics degree.

The records show that by 2004/05, Adebolajo's engagement with his studies "appeared to have diminished" and his marks were indicative of a student that was not attending lectures and seminars.

"By 2005/06 he appeared not to be engaging at all," the document says.

The panel concluded that in the year 2004/05, "there was some evidence of increased activism on campus in that year which suggested that this period was atypical".

"It is clear, first, that Adebolajo became increasingly disengaged during his time as a student and, although technically registered as such, 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."

The report also says that "inevitably, Greenwich outside the university and the university itself interact".

In November 2005, a student representing the Stop Islamaphobia Campaign attempted to present a resolution to the annual meeting of the students' union explicitly supporting Hizb-ut-Tahrir (HT) which advocates the establishment of an Islamic state and seeking an end to the National Union of Students (BUS) "no platform" decree against the group. The resolution was rejected.

One student told the panel that it was his view that Hizb-ut-Tahrir and the Stop Islamophobia Campaign were driven from outside the university and were seeking to recruit within it, adding it was his sense that they had "very little success".

"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 HT," the findings, first reported by the Times Higher Education magazine shows.

There was no evidence suggesting a group, or activities on the campus that could have effected radicalisation.

It concluded: "We are clear that none of the university, the students' union or its student societies contributed to the radicalisation."

There is also no evidence at the present time of radicalisation or extremism in the university, its union or societies, the document adds.

Photo gallery (GRAPHIC WARNING) Woolwich attack: Lee Rigby Murder See Gallery