Current Affairs

Woolwich murder, the MI6 connection: Younger brother of Michael Adebolajo ‘was paid thousands to spy in Middle East’

  • Jeremiah  Adebolajo, 26, is a university English teacher in Saudi Arabia
  • Allegedly  approached by MI6 who pressured him to become a spy
  • Flown business  class to five-star hotels and handed cash
  • Sister Blessing  says he ‘strongly’ rejected offers to work for MI6
  • Asked to  help ‘turn’ his brother Michael because of links to terror groups

By  Robert Verkaik

PUBLISHED: 16:02 EST, 1 June  2013 |  UPDATED: 16:03  EST, 1 June 2013

Teacher: Michael Adebolajo's brother Jeremiah, pictured, was paid thousands by MI6 to become a spy in the Middle East 

Teacher: Michael Adebolajo’s brother Jeremiah, pictured, was paid thousands by MI6 to become a spy in the Middle East


The younger brother of one of the men accused  of murdering Drummer Lee Rigby was paid thousands of pounds by MI6 as part of spying  operations in the Middle East, The Mail on Sunday has discovered.

Jeremiah Adebolajo, who uses the name Abul  Jaleel, was also asked to help ‘turn’ his brother, Michael, to work for MI5, who  were already aware of Michael’s close links to extremist groups.

The claims are made by the Adebolajo family  and a well-placed source who contacted The Mail on Sunday.

Jeremiah Adebolajo, 26, who works as an  English teacher at a  university in Saudi Arabia and returned to Britain  this week, is to be questioned about his brother by Scotland Yard  counter-terrorism detectives today.

Government sources have already confirmed  that Michael Adebolajo was known to MI5. Last week it was alleged that he  rebuffed efforts by the security service to recruit him as a spy.

Michael, 28, was discharged from hospital on  Friday and was yesterday charged with the murder of Drummer Rigby and attempted  murder of two police officers on May 22 in Woolwich, South London.

Now it has emerged that MI5’s  sister  agency, MI6, had targeted Jeremiah, a married teacher based at the University of  Ha’il.

MI5 and MI6 work closely together on  counter-terrorism operations. MI5 focuses on home security, while MI6 targets  threats from overseas.

A document seen by The Mail on Sunday details  concerns raised by Jeremiah’s family about MI6’s alleged harassment in April  last year.

In it, Jeremiah’s sister, Blessing Adebolajo,  32, who works as a human resources assistant in London, says her brother was  approached by MI6 while he was working at the University of Ha’il – an important  strategic location in the Middle East because it takes only one hour by plane to  reach 11 Arab capitals.

Jeremiah Adeboljao was working at the University of Ha'il in Saudi Arabia when he was approached by MI6 

Jeremiah Adeboljao was working at the University of  Ha’il in Saudi Arabia when he was approached by MI6

Complaint: A redacted copy of the allegations made by the Adebolajo family 

Complaint: A redacted copy of the allegations made by  the Adebolajo family

A friend of Jeremiah has confirmed her  account.

The friend said: ‘They asked him about  Michael and asked him to help “turn” him to work for MI5.

‘They also told him to go to certain hotels,  order a cup of tea and wait for his contact.

‘On these occasions he was handed £300, and  was paid to fly first-class and stay in five-star hotels.’

The document, prepared by case workers with  the charity Cageprisoners, says Blessing approached the East London charity for  help because she was worried about the harassment and intimidation of both her  brothers by the security and intelligence services.

She says MI6 bought a ticket so Jeremiah  could fly to an Intercontinental hotel in another Middle East country (believed  to be the United Arab Emirates) and that he was given local currency worth more  than £1,000.

She also alleges Jeremiah told her that he  was interrogated about specific people and was shown pictures of himself with  named individuals taken in the UK. But Blessing told Cageprisoners that Jeremiah  had ‘strongly’ rejected MI6’s offer to work as one of their agents.

Blessing Adebolajo says her brother Jeremiah was approached by MI6 and asked to become an informant 

Blessing Adebolajo says her brother Jeremiah was  approached by MI6 and asked to become an informant



As a result of this rejection, his sister  says he was ‘intimidated’ until he was finally told that he would be stopped  from leaving the UK.

The friend said that two years ago Jeremiah  was approached by UK security officers when he was held at Heathrow on his way  back from Saudi Arabia.

During the interview, he was warned about  what happens to Muslims who don’t help the Government and was shown documents  that confirmed people he knew were being held in prisons throughout the  world.

Police and security services are under huge  pressure to explain what they know about Adebolajo and his alleged accomplice,  Michael Adebowale. Despite warnings stretching back ten years, Michael Adebolajo  is said to have been considered ‘low risk’ by MI5. He was photographed at  high-profile protests – even standing next to hate preacher Anjem  Choudary.

He was arrested in Kenyan 2010 over his  alleged plans to travel to Somalia to join terror group Al-Shabaab before being  returned to the UK. Jeremiah married Charlotte Patricia Taylor in 2008 at Sutton  Register Office in Surrey.

Shortly afterwards the couple are believed to  have left for Saudi Arabia where Jeremiah found work teaching. The University of  Ha’il is one of Saudi Arabia’s most progressive education establishments and was  established by Royal Decree in 2005. It consists of five colleges – Sciences,  Medicine and Medical Sciences,  Engineering, Computer Science and  Engineering, and a Community College – and has more than 16,000  students.

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