Demonstrators wave flags outside the Old Bailey in London, Wednesday Feb. 26, 2014, ahead of the sentencing of Michael Adebolajo and Michael Adebowale who were convicted of murdering 25-year-old fusilier Lee Rigby. (AP Photo/PA, Sean Dempsey)
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Two British Muslim converts were sentenced to life in prison on Wednesday for hacking a soldier to death on a London street in broad daylight, a gruesome killing that horrified the nation and provoked an anti-Islamic backlash.Michael Adebolajo, 29, and Michael Adebowale, 22, were convicted by a jury in December of murdering off-duty soldier Lee Rigby, a 25-year-old Afghan war veteran in Woolwich, southeast London, in May last year.Adebolajo received a whole-life term while Adebowale was told he would serve a minimum period of 45 years.It was the first killing by Islamist militants in London since four suicide bombers killed 52 people in al Qaeda-inspired attacks on the transport network in July 2005 .In court on Wednesday, Adebolajo's defence lawyer had sought leniency from the judge as he said the pair targeted a soldier, rather than the wider public, did not use explosives and could possibly be rehabilitated.But Sweeney said the two had carried out the murder to advancing a political, religious, racial or ideological cause.
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