- (PHOTO:Ministry of Defense)
Military drummer Lee Rigby has been identified as the victim in Wednesday's terrorist attack in London.
Two men, claiming allegiance to Muslim countries where Britain has deployed its military, beheaded Rigby on a crowded Woolwich street Wednesday. Father of a 2-year-old son, Rigby's body was left stabbed, beheaded and partially disemboweled near his Armory barracks in southeast London.
Witnesses nearby managed to capture video of the attack. One of the attackers spoke to the camera, attempting to justify or rationalize the violent attack. His hand was bloodied and he was still carrying the machete used to kill Rigby.
The British Ministry of Defense identified the victim early Thursday. Rigby belonged to the 2nd Battalion, The Royal Regiment of Fusiliers, and was attached to the Regimental Recruiting Team in London, which he joined in 2011.
A member of the British military since 2006, Rigby was described as an "extremely popular and witty soldier."
"Drummer Rigby was a larger than life personality within the Corps of Drums and was well known, liked and respected across the Second Fusiliers," the government news site said. "A loving father to his son Jack, aged 2 years, he will be sorely missed by all who knew him."
In addition to noting that Rigby would be missed by his platoon, members also shared their sorrow for Rigby's wife and son.
"Drummer Rigby or 'Riggers' as he was known within the platoon was a cheeky and humorous man, always there with a joke to brighten the mood; he was an extremely popular member of the Fire Support Group (FSG). An excellent side drummer and highly competent machine gunner, he was always there to help out the younger members of the FSG whenever possible," Capt. Alan Williamson, Adjutant, Second Fusiliers, told gov.uk.
"His loss will be felt across the battalion but this is nothing compared to how his family must be feeling at this difficult time; our thoughts and prayers are with them. Once a Fusilier, always a Fusilier," the captain added.
One of the suspects in the attack has been identified by acquaintances as 28-year-old Londoner Michael Adebolajo- a British-born convert to radical Islam. Both suspects had been previously investigating in relation to terror organizations, an Associated Press report said Wednesday.
The name of the second suspect has not been released. Both men are in custody.