Extremist friend of Lee Rigby’s killer gloated over soldier’s murder in YouTube videos

Matthew Collins - 12 02 14
Royal Barnes pictured laughing in a car in front of the memorial to soldier Lee Rigby

Royal Barnes pictured laughing in a car in front of the memorial to soldier Lee Rigby

An Islamic extremist friend of drummer Lee Rigby’s killer today admitted posting videos gloating over the murder on YouTube.

Royal Barnes, 23, also pleaded guilty at the Old Bailey to inciting terrorism by offering his three-door Vauxhall Astra on Facebook as a reward to anyone who killed a British soldier.

Barnes, who was a friend of Michael Adebowale, posted three videos on the internet describing the murder as “brilliant” and claiming that “British people will never be safe on the streets of London”.

Another video showed him driving past the floral tributes to Mr Rigby in Woolwich and laughing as “this is where the British soldier died”.

Royal Barnes: Admitted posting gloating videos on YouTube and to inciting terrorismThree further videos were found on a computer at Barnes’s Hackney home, including one in which he pretended to be a suicide bomber at Finsbury Park Tube station.

He is also filmed inside Westminster magistrates’ court, where he was convicted of a public order offence over a protest against an English Defence League rally.

Barnes is linked to Muslims Against Crusades and associated with Adebowale at various rallies and demonstrations in support of introducing Sharia law to the UK. In particular he was filmed by a TV documentary crew with Adebowale at a protest outside St Paul’s cathedral. He is also connected to two extremists jailed for carrying out Muslim patrols in east London, harassing members of the public by warning women not to wear short skirts on the streets and people to stop drinking alcohol.

Today Barnes pleaded guilty to three charges of dissemination of terrorist publications in the wake of the Lee Rigby murder last May, and a further charge of inciting terrorism overseas.

Royal Barnes, pictured in a grab from one of the videos posted onlineHis wife, Rebekah Dawson, 22, has already admitted the three dissemination of terrorist publication charges. Dawson made legal history when she became the first woman to go on trial wearing the niqab.

She had refused to remove the full face covering for a trial last month at Blackfriars crown court, where she pleaded guilty to witness intimidation. Her guilty plea followed a six-day trial during which a judge controversially allowed her to wear the niqab after ruling that the court should recognise “freedom of religious expression”.

But the judge ordered her to remove the veil if she went into the witness box. She refused to give evidence because her religion prevented her removing the veil in the presence of men.

The case will result in new guidelines being issued to judges about the wearing of religious clothing in court. She had threatened a caretaker because he let tourists into a mosque with their heads uncovered.

The couple will be sentenced later by the Recorder of London, Brian Barker QC.

The three videos Barnes uploaded to YouTube were entitled “Woolwichattack.wmv (British soldier behaded (sic) in London The Response. Must See!”, “British soldier killed … Muslim woman exposes!!! MUST SEE!!” and “Muslim laughs at British soldier killing (Muslim laughs at Drummer Lee Rigby DEATH).

His barrister, Naeem Mian, told the court: “Barnes made three postings immediately or shortly after the murder of Lee Rigby. They are, to say the very least, untasteful.

“One month later he puts a posting on Facebook following a posting detailing the rape of an Iraqi woman, saying he would reward any person who murders an Allied soldier with a Vauxhall Astra, and reward them with some money, euros, dollars or pounds.”

Prosecutor Kate Wilkinson said the link to the Iraqi rape was an article in the Asian Tribune in June last year. He and his wife owned a Vauxhall Astra at the time. In the posting Barnes says: “British and American soldiers will be killed for the sake of Allah and they will have their heads removed and this will make me smile and I celebrate the death of British and American soldiers.”

The three videos relating to the charges all start with film of a soldier being blown up, a scene from 9/11, a Muslim insurgent holding a severed head and TV news bulletin clips of the Lee Rigby killers boasting for the cameras in the street by the dying body.

Barnes was remanded in custody for sentencing at a date to be fixed.

The judge had earlier indicated he will impose a sentence of between five and a half and six and a half years imprisonment.

London Evening Standard


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