The best proof that bullets were not used at Woolwich was what happened to Adebowale. From a general perspective, Adebowale’s case is extraordinary. He had a gun that he must have known wouldn’t fire. In fact, investigators had to clean the gun and reassemble it before they could make it fire. Although he had a knife – the only weapon which he could cause any serious enough injury with – he doesn’t run at police as Adebolajo did. Instead he runs perpendicular to their advance – so across it – waving a gun at them he can’t fire, and for the most part not being noticed by them. What exactly was he trying to achieve – except perhaps trying to create an image that makes him look as though he is in a gun battle with police? It’s all a bit too convenient that Adebolajo didn’t hide behind the Tigra to do his pretend shoot out. Instead he provided a good photo opportunity and proceeded to roughly the same space in which his mate was already lying down in.
At the crux of the matter with Adebowale is the supposed injury to his thumb. The first witness account as told to the media on that day was that Adebolajo had tried to fire the weapon, but it backfired and injured him by blowing his digits off. However, this contradicted a narrative that was emerging that explained why police were still shooting at Adebolajo even after he was laying on the floor. In the last chapter we saw testimony from D49 about how she felt threatened by the fact that Adebowale was still waving the gun around in the air. The definitive explanation in court came from E48, who seems to have shot the last two rounds of the incident. He said this:
‘He raised one of his arms up,’ E48 said. ‘I’ve still got a distinct image in my mind of him holding a black revolver in his hand which I clearly saw, which struck me as unusual because he’d just been shot.
The next two shots shot his thumb off [on the] hand holding the weapon.
Covered in blood and wielding a gun: Moment police shoot armed men ‘after they murdered soldier Lee Rigby on streets of Woolwich’; Martin Robinson et al; 04 December 2013.
There is not much point looking at the Mirror Footage to try and verify this. However, one of the stills from the Council Footage that was released by police does capture a moment before the last two shots are fired. A detail from this still does seem to show a dark grey object in Adebowale’s hand that could be the gun (see Fig. 137). Be that as it may, in theory the decision to shoot Adebowale’s weapon out of reach or out of danger rather than neutralise the threat by killing him seems pretty extraordinary. That Adebowale survived is abnormal given the Metropolitan Police’s reputation as per the discussion above. Besides which , it is eminently easier to hit a killing spot on the body than it is to send a gun spinning from a perpetrators clutches by hitting him in the hand. The narrative plays on all the notions that ignorant members of the public have that have been inculcated into them by Hollywood movies. In fact, that the police involved are asking the public to believe that they shot a gun from a hand a la Clint Eastwood is frankly a sign of the contempt they must hold the public in.
The real reason we can’t believe the police when they claim that they chose to debilitate him, and they actually did incapacitate him is the in the Sun Arrest Footage. The first big obvious clue should be how the policeman drags Adebowale on to the grass from his initial falling-down place – by his right hand. Would this be such an obvious choice if this appendage was in anyway mangled by a gun shot? The chances are, no. Next, when Adebowale is dragged away, his gun then becomes clearly visible – but this is not the first time it could be seen in any footage while it has been on the ground. The Council Footage enables us to see a dark spot on the pavement inches away from Adebowale’s body (Fig. 138). Would this really be the final resting place of a gun that was forced out of Adebowale’s grip by a shot to the hand, or does it better represent the fact that he laid the weapon down?
The real killer of the fiction surrounding Adebowale’s thumb is evidence in the Sun footage. This footage gives the closest views of Adebowale’s predicament available, and conveniently, it had been censored prior to its release. Blurring was applied over Adebowale’s right hand. Like the blurring that was applied to Rigby in some footage, this is supposed to protect the viewer of the film from the unpleasant sight of gore. However, it appears in fact that the blurring is to hide something to do with the truth – certainly with the blurring of Adebowale’s thumb, and we should expect the same to apply in all cases we might find.
Luckily, the person who manipulated the film (and we have already seen that it was edited to omit some vital material) was a bit lax nevertheless. Not all of the blurring was applied to all the incidences of exposed hand. In early shots of the police man attending on Adebowale, this blurring had been missed off, and Adebowale’s hand can be seen to be perfectly intact. His thumb is clearly visible, and still attached to his hand. It’s not just in one or two frames that this can be seen; there is a sequence of them. Adebowale’s hand had not been injured at all, let alone his thumb blown off – and it’s no wonder that images of Adebowale appearing in court a few days later did not feature the detail of any kind of dressing on his right hand.
This evidence of Adebowale’s thumb really makes it clear that the “armed police” were shooting without really aiming. In other words, because they didn’t even hit the targets they claimed to have hit, it proves that it didn’t matter where the guns were aimed at the time a shot was heard. This means that they definitely wouldn’t have used live rounds, and maybe they didn’t even fire the weapons. When Adebowale is shot for the last time, the weapon is actually very close to him. He could still get injured from being hit by a blank. In fact, as ludicrous as all those “armed police” were, the planners of this event might have been desirous that the weapons were not loaded with any round in case one of them was seen shooting detectable blank material (the paper/wood/plastic wadding that replaces the bullet) at any of the others. Don’t forget how close E48 was aiming to D49s arms.
The main case for there not being any real gun fire involved in this incident is how, except for the sound of the shots, there were no other indications. There is a very simple signature of gunfire that is surprisingly absent in the footage. When a MP5 Heckler and Koch is fired, the spent cartridge is expelled from the weapon – it is not unusual from other guns, although the manner in which the mechanism is activated varies – and in all cases, smoke is produced from the heat that is produced. This is ably shown in the image in Fig. 141 – which is a still shot from one of many of the same kind of YouTube movies where gun enthusiasts demonstrate their weapons. In the footage of the incident at Woolwich, these things cannot be witnessed. While the casings might not be seen from the sort of distance from which the shootout is filmed from in the Mirror footage, the smoke emitted, and especially its accumulative mass as a pall over the scene, should perhaps be visible. In addition, the casings probably should be audible as they hit the ground, which they are not. We definitely do not see them, and with all the movement involved with a casing leaving a gun and flying through the air, and bouncing and rolling, there might have been a slim chance that we should have.
The trouble with arguing that the “armed police” did not fire their weapons is that we do have evidence that suggests that they did. The sound of gunfire, for instance, is the most obvious. Bullets were said to have been accounted for. And there is the small matter of the 8 casings that the engagement would have produced that seem to have been accounted for in a very public way. Shots from a BBC helicopter camera after the incident show plastic bags laid and taped over the tarmac of Artillery Place. These bags are covering items of evidence.
It is very likely, and the sums add up, that some of these bags are covering bullet casings. The image in Fig. 140 illustrates this forensics scene in full. Dealing with these obstacles one at a time, just because we hear gun fire, it doesn’t mean that it came from the weapons that we are told it came from. Secondly, we know nothing about bits of metal that were pulled from Adebowale and Adebolajo, and if we did, it would be a great surprise because these two men were clearly never struck by hollow point bullets as it was claimed they were. Moreover, the things that the authorities were alluding to as bullet holes do not look very much like they were made by bullets.
However, there does seem to be evidence of casings – presumably that’s what they are – found on the scene. How could this be? In dealing with this, we need to be careful not to outright accuse Tina Nimmo of involvement in the conspiracy for the purpose of falsifying a crime scene. What we are going to do is notice her very strange behaviour. Her very presence during the engagement is an extraordinary matter than defies normality.
All the way through the incident she is on the phone. She doesn’t flee from the scene, as surely would be the normal reaction. Sure, she sprints away from scene when she tires of hanging around within it. But why did she not actually just walk on to the pavement at the bottom of Artillery Place to get out of the way? This sort of question is pretty useless and establishes no proof of anything. It might, on the other hand, be a valid question to ask why police didn’t shoot Nimmo as well? How was it that they knew that she wasn’t a threat to them? All such matters that perhaps should have been taken up with Tina Nimmo by the Adebolajo/Adebowale defence teams at court – of course, they failed to take that golden opportunity.
In relation to the issue at hand, the reader should peruse the diagram in Fig. 142 – this is a very rough approximation of Nimmo’s movements during and straight after the shootout. The arrows at A and B roughly represent where she exhibited some very peculiar behaviour. She also came and stood roughly in the area of arrow C as the police were treating the two Michaels, so it can be seen that she was in the thick of the crime scene and all around its perimeters at one stage or another. The numbered ovals represent the evidence bags believed to be covering casings.
The mentioned behaviour of Nimmo at arrow A can be seen in Figs. 143a to 143h. That at arrow B can be seen in Figs 144a to 144g. These are sequences of frames from the Mirror Footage. What do they show Nimmo doing? Readers must come to their own conclusions. The author will say this much – this display in sequence A looks like the actions one would make if tossing something away. Whatever it is Nimmo is doing, it is pretty remarkable that she thought it the time and the place to linger to dispose of something in the road.