Man arrested over stabbings at Birmingham mosque

Police say no information suggests attack was a hate crime

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The Independent Online

A 32-year-old man under investigation by West Midlands Police over the stabbing of four men at a mosque in Birmingham on Saturday night has been taken to a secure mental health facility.

A spokesperson for the police said he was assessed by mental health experts at lunchtime on Sunday and was deemed unfit to be interviewed in relation to the attack.

The spokesperson added: "While the investigation continues, the man will be constantly assessed by medics who will alert detectives as soon as he is deemed well enough to undergo questioning."

The man was understood to be worshiping at the Madrassa Qasim-ul-Uloom mosque on Washwood Heath Road, but was not known there.

Chief Superintendent Alex Murray said the attacker’s motives were unknown, but said that there was no information to suggest it was a hate crime.

A 28-year-old man who had suffered multiple stab wounds and a 36-year-old man who had suffered a single stab wound to the thigh were taken to hospital. The third victim suffered a hand injury and is now recovering at home. The police officer sustained stab wounds to his stomach and chest.

He praised the actions of the congregation and police who provided life-saving first aid to those who were injured as well as the officer.

He said: “This was a horrifying experience for everyone involved but the bravery of the victims at the mosque and the officers who attended means that the situation was quickly brought under control.

“At this stage we understand the suspect was not known to the mosque but was welcomed to pray last night when he attended for the first time.

“The motive for the attack remains unclear but there is nothing to suggest it is connected with any other incident and it is not being treated as a hate crime.

“I wish those who were injured a speedy recovery and would like to reassure people locally that we are not looking for anyone else in connection with what happened.

“High-visibility patrols have been stepped up and if anyone has any concerns whatsoever I would encourage them to give us a call on 101 and speak to their local neighbourhood policing team.“

The 31-year-old officer is from the Yardley Wood area of Birmingham and has served with West Midlands Police since 2007.

Additional reporting by PA