Beheading a British soldier was his way of saying thank you.

MOMBASA, Kenya (AP) —¬†British diplomats recommended that a British man detained in Kenya 2 1/2 years ago on suspicion of attempting to join Islamic fighters in Somalia be freed, the lawyer who represented him said Thursday. The man was let go and last week allegedly helped butcher a British soldier on the streets of London.

Michael Adebolajo’s lawyer, Wycliffe Makasembo, said a letter from the British High Commission in Nairobi recommended that the man be released because there was no tangible evidence to link him to the crime.

“They noted that the suspects had not yet crossed over to Somalia and thus, there was no cause to charge them,” Makasembo told a reporter.

Rosemary Mutoka, the magistrate who presided over the case in Kenya’s port city of Mombasa, ruled that there was no clear information about the circumstances and what Adebolajo and other suspects were found doing that led to the police arresting them.

Court records examined by a reporter on Thursday show Adebolajo was arrested on Nov. 21, 2010, with eight others on suspicion that they were trying to cross over to Somalia to join al-Shabab militants. Adebolajo was arraigned in the court on Nov. 23, 2010. The court granted the Anti-terrorism Police Unit officers two days to interrogate him, the court records show, but it is not clear when he was released.

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