Bombers had been banned from mosques in Leeds

Razaq Raj, who is a senior lecturer at Leeds Metropolitan University, said he knew that Shahzad Tanweer, Hasib Hussain and Mohammad Sidique Khan had been banned but did not know the reason why.

Mr Raj made the comments as he was explaining how mosques and Islamic societies in the city were anything but hotbeds for radicalism and fundamentalist groups.

He said: "I know the three mosques in Beeston had banned them - the ones in Stratford Street, Hardy Street and Tunstall Road. It could be for all sorts of reasons."

The mosques are close to the home of Tanweer, whom police believe blew himself up in the Aldgate blast. The Stratford Street mosque is just two streets away from his Colwyn Road home.

It is also close to a house which has been the centre of intense police activity, and which remains cordoned off from Stratford Street.

Mr Raj's revelations came as further clues emerged about the social centres where the bombers might have met each other. The latest centre to be raided was an Islamic bookstore around the corner from the home of Tanweer, who killed seven in the Aldgate blast.

According to signs outside the shop, the centre provides not only Islamic literature but media services, youth activities, orphan sponsorship, and seminars and presentations. It is only a few hundred yards from the former Hamara community centre, which has also been raided and where a number of the bombers have been seen.

The community centre, in Lodge Lane, is a meeting place for young Muslims, including three brothers whose former home has also been at the centre of police activity and who are being questioned by detectives at Paddington Green police station in London.

It is understood that one of the brothers worked at the Iqra bookshop. One local, who only wished to be known as Arif, said: "The bookshop has absolutely nothing to do with terrorism. It is just a place where people go to meet, have a chat and read books. I don't know why the police had to do this but it will only inflame local people around here."

Forensic officers also removed bags containing computer equipment from the former Hamara centre. Two officers in protective suits and masks carried out six bags clearly containing computer devices from the property in the Beeston area of Leeds.

Police threw a 100m cordon around the centre on Thursday before conducting an examination of it, using robotic devices. Shortly before 10.45am yesterday the metal shutters covering the front of the building were opened and the forensic officers emerged clutching the bags, which were then put in the back of a police van.

Mr Raj, who is also a member of the Leeds Islamic Centre, said he wanted to counter reports that the mosques in Leeds were in any way homes to radicals. His claims bear out the testimony provided by many worshippers at the Stratford Street mosque.

Mr Raj also said that he had strong links with the Islamic societies at both of the universities in the city and had never heard of any fundamentalist influence there. He said: "The last thing we want is radical groups in Leeds."

He added: "I can tell you categorically that at Leeds Metropolitan University and Leeds University there are no radical groups there. If there was a problem, I would report it. I've never had to."

Meanwhile, a statement from the East London Mosque and the Islamic Forum Europe, while saying the country had to stand united and not let extremists divide it, added that the Muslim community alone could not prevent similar atrocities.

The statement said: "Political leaders need to raise their heads out of the sand and find real answers not only on how to deal with incitement to hate but also why British-born and brought-up youths find residence with hate-inciters which leads them to lay down their lives in murdering their fellow citizens."

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Day In a Page

Syrian conflict is the world's first 'climate change war', say scientists, but it won't be the last one

Climate change key in Syrian conflict

And it will trigger more war in future
How I outwitted the Gestapo

How I outwitted the Gestapo

My life as a Jew in wartime Berlin
The nation's favourite animal revealed

The nation's favourite animal revealed

Women like cuddly creatures whilst men like creepy-crawlies
Is this the way to get young people to vote?

Getting young people to vote

From #VOTESELFISH to Bite the Ballot
Poldark star Heida Reed: 'I don't think a single bodice gets ripped'

Poldark star Heida Reed

'I don't think a single bodice gets ripped'
The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

Netanyahu knows he can get away with anything in America, says Robert Fisk
Families clubbing together to build their own affordable accommodation

Do It Yourself approach to securing a new house

Community land trusts marking a new trend for taking the initiative away from developers
Head of WWF UK: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

David Nussbaum: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

The head of WWF UK remains sanguine despite the Government’s failure to live up to its pledges on the environment
Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Set in a mythologised 5th-century Britain, ‘The Buried Giant’ is a strange beast
With money, corruption and drugs, this monk fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’

Money, corruption and drugs

The monk who fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’
America's first slavery museum established at Django Unchained plantation - 150 years after slavery outlawed

150 years after it was outlawed...

... America's first slavery museum is established in Louisiana
Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

The first 'American Idol' winner on how she manages to remain her own woman – Jane Austen fascination and all
Tony Oursler on exploring our uneasy relationship with technology with his new show

You won't believe your eyes

Tony Oursler's new show explores our uneasy relationship with technology. He's one of a growing number of artists with that preoccupation
Ian Herbert: Peter Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

The England coach leaves players to find solutions - which makes you wonder where he adds value, says Ian Herbert
War with Isis: Fears that the looming battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

The battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

Aid agencies prepare for vast exodus following planned Iraqi offensive against the Isis-held city, reports Patrick Cockburn