Muslim gang investigation: Fifth arrest made after vigilantes hurl homophobic abuse at public
Friday 25 January 2013
A fifth arrest has been made after a gang claiming to be Islamic vigilantes tormented members of the public, including by hurling homophobic abuse.
A 17-year-old boy was held this morning in Walthamstow, east London and is being questioned.
It is the latest in a series of arrests made since films were posted on YouTube featuring a gang harassing passers-by in east London on the weekend of January 12 and 13.
In one clip entitled "Muslim vigilantes in London harass and taunt gay male", they are heard to shout "get out of here you fag... don't stay around here any more".
In a second video, also posted online, men from the gang in Whitechapel tell another man "no drink in this area, it's a Muslim area" before ordering him to pour away his alcohol.
Police have urged the man targeted with homophobic abuse to come forward as "a crucial witness".
Detective chief inspector Wendy Morgan: "The Met takes such homophobic behaviour very seriously.
"This man is a crucial witness in the investigation and would encourage him and anyone else with information relating to this incident to make contact in confidence as soon as possible."
All of those arrested were held on suspicion of GBH and public order offences.
On January 20, a 22-year-old was held in Acton, west London and released on bail until March 12.
The following day, a 19-year-old was arrested after he went to an east London police station and was bailed until March 11.
On January 24 two men aged 25 and 29 were arrested and remain in custody at police stations in east London.
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