Birmingham mosque attacks: Man charged with 'religiously-aggravated criminal damage' after Muslim places of worship targeted

Investigators said incidents in wake of Christchurch attack were not terror-related 

Lizzie Dearden
Home Affairs Correspondent
Tuesday 20 August 2019 15:54 BST
Birmingham mosques targeted with sledgehammer in overnight attack

A man has been charged with attacking five mosques in Birmingham in the wake of the Christchurch terror attack.

Arman Rezazadeh, is accused of religiously-aggravated criminal damage over a string of vandalism in March.

Police said the 34-year-old, from Handsworth, was originally detained under the Mental Health Act but has been deemed fit to face legal proceedings.

He will appear before Birmingham Magistrates’ Court on 12 September.

Officers received reports of vandalism at Al-Habib Trust in Aston at 2.30am on 21 March and then attended the scene of a second attack at the Jam-E-Masjid Qiblah Hadhrat Sahib Gulhar Shareef in Erdington at 3.15am.

Patrols then started in areas with mosques and police came across further damage to Witton Islamic Centre in Aston and Masjid Madrassa Faizal Islam in Perry Barr.

Later in the morning, officers responded to a smashed window at Jamia Masjid Ghausia in Aston, after pictures were circulated on social media.

A sixth incident where a mosque in Balsall Heath was vandalised was found not to be linked.

The incidents prompted fear among local communities in the aftermath of the terror attacks on two mosques in New Zealand that left 51 Muslim victims dead on 15 March.

The massacres sparked calls for mosques in Britain to receive more government funding for security measures, amid increased police patrols.

Investigators said the vandalism in Birmingham was not terror-related or motivated by right-wing extremism.

“West Midlands Police have conducted a thorough investigation and continue to work in partnership with mosques around the West Midlands to offer reassurance to our communities,” a spokesperson added.

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in