The Mirror has revealed how the British Secret Service secured release of Michael Adebolajo from Kenyan authorities with a view to turning him into a double agent.
Sources said that when Michael Adebolajo was arrested in Kenya on his way to Somalia in 2010 British agents stepped in to secure his release and deportation to the UK where they hoped to turn him into an agent to infiltrate terrorist rings in Britain.
A source said: “Our officials gave specific warnings that this man was a threat to international security.
“The evidence all suggested he was intent on joining a terrorist ¬organisation and was already ¬considered to be extremely dangerous.
“But the British agents said he was no danger and our authorities handed him over. This should never have been allowed to happen.”
The source told how he was “shaken to the core” when he heard Adebolajo – arrested as he headed to Somalia to fight for al-Shabaab – was involved in Lee’s murder earlier this year.
And Kenya coast anti-terror boss Elijah Rop added: “The British must answer many questions. We told them this man was a danger. We warned them.”
Secret agents were said to have tracked him from his home in South London to Nairobi and Mombasa, watching him closely for more than a month.
On November 20 2010, Adebolajo and four other young recruits set off to the island of Lamu. From there they planned to go to Somalia in a speedboat to join al-Shabaab terror groups. Kenyan authorities swooped before they could reach Somalia.
The gang were taken back to Mombasa where two MI5 officers were waiting for Adebolajo. Several meetings took place in secret while he demanded a lawyer and to talk to the British ambassador.
A source claims he saw Adebolajo talking to “two white men” after he was summoned from the cells following four days in custody. He was offered a deal – face charges and be jailed in Kenya or go home straight away and become a spy for the intelligence services.
He was officially deported and put on a flight back to the UK.
On his return from Kenya, the security services put pressure on him and his younger brother, Jeremiah, to work for them. But a friend claimed the “harassment” by the security services only made him more radical.
A security source said: “There are still many questions that need to be answered as to why MI5 officers identified Adebolajo as a “cleanskin” (a person without any criminal records) to Kenyan police when he was a known extremist with an open file.” Adebolajo served a 51-day prison sentence in 2006 for assaulting a police officer at a Moslem rally.
Just a week before Lee’s murder, Adebolajo was seen preaching outside shops near the scene of the slaughter.
But MI5 had by then scaled down all contact with the extremist.