TODAY   |  May 25, 2013

Police arrest friend of Britain murder suspect

Police arrested a friend of one of the murder suspects who allegedly killed a British soldier on a London street. The man was taken into custody after he told the BBC that Britain’s domestic spy agency had once tried to recruit the man filmed with blood on his hands. NBC’s Martin Fletcher reports.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>>> morning in the investigation of deadly attack on a soldier on the streets of london . another person is under arrest. nbc's martin fletcher is in london near the crime scene with more. martin, good morning.

>> reporter: lester, good morning. with a flower tribute behind me growing all the time, there's been a bizarre twist. police arrested the friend of a murder suspect last night after he claimed on bbc the spy agency had tried to recruit one of the murder suspects, the man filmed with blood on his hands. he turned them down six months ago, the arrested man said, no comment from ma-5. security officials did confirm that both suspects had long been on their radar. this is him six years ago. the slogan muslims against crusa crusaders. a show of support and national unity in the north of england on friday as the second signal regimen ended the second tour of duty in afghanistan. with britain reeling from the vicious murder of the soldier who fought six months in afghanistan and was rammed by a car and slaughtered with a butcher's knife on a london street. had his family said their hearts have been "ripped apart."

>> you don't expect that.

>> no. you don't expect it.

>> reporter: and britain is on edge after police warn there may be so-called copycat attacks. on friday another scare when a pakistani airways jet was forced to land near london after two passengers allegedly threatened to destroy the plane after arguing with the crew. authorities say, however, it does not appear to be terror related. muslim community leaders are warning of a far right backlash against muslims .

>> the sad thing is it's not in the control of the muslim community . the muslim community are victims here.

>> reporter: 140 hate crimes against muslims have been reported in the two days since the killing. ten times more than usual. the man arrested after talking on the bbc was reportedly not arrested for what he said. scotland yard said it was "suspicion of terrorism offensive."

>> martin fletcher in london . thanks