Eight mosques were attacked across the country during that time, he said.
What is the English Defence League?
The EDL sports symbolism that resembles that of neo-fascist groups. Its logo is adorned with red medieval crosses. One of its popular slogans is "Defender of Faith! Defender of England!" A motif on some of its sweat shirts is the image of a Christian knight, possibly a Crusader, praying with his sword drawn.
Many EDL sympathizers seen at demonstrations have similar appearances to those of right-wing extremist groups. Almost all of them are young, white men. Many of them have shaved heads typical of skinheads and wear nationalist symbols.
But the group focuses strictly on Islam. It claims to oppose racism and to promote democracy and diversity. It brags that it has support from gay rights groups, Sikhs and Hindus.
The EDL even links to a "Jewish Division" on its Facebook page and posts messages of support for people of color it feels have fallen victim to Islamist extremists.
Members of the EDL clashed with police near the scene of Ribgy's killing last week. A tweet from its official account proclaimed then that "it's fair to say that finally the country is waking up!:-) NO SURRENDER!"
Murder sparked outrage
Men in a blue car drove up on a sidewalk Wednesday and struck the 25-year-old Rigby. They got out of the car, according to police, then stabbed and slashed him to death with knives and meat cleavers, before dragging his body into the middle of the street.
After the attack, one of the men, his right hand covered in blood, the left brandishing a knife and a cleaver, found someone with a camera and talked into it. He justified the terrible deed as revenge for the killings of Muslims around the world.
The video went viral on the Internet.
When police arrived, one of the suspects rushed officers with a gun, authorities said. Police opened fire, wounding both of them.
Extremism task force
Britain is forming a task force that will examine the dynamics behind extremist groups in the country, Prime Minister David Cameron's office announced Sunday.
The group, led by Cameron, will "have a general focus on extremist groups, but accept that in practice the greatest threat is from Islamist extremists," a statement from Downing Street said.
The Muslim Council of Britain said the task force needs to look at "extremism from all quarters" while forming an effective strategy.
"We must be vigilant and ensure we do not inadvertently give into the demands of all extremists: making our society less free, divided and suspicious of each other," said a statement from the council's secretary-general, Farooq Murad. "Lessons from the past indicate that policies and measures taken in haste can exacerbate extremism."