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Birmingham mosque attacks not far-right terrorism, police say

Man detained under the Mental Health Act

Peter Stubley
Monday 25 March 2019 22:51 GMT
Birmingham mosques targeted with sledgehammer in overnight attack

A series of attacks on mosques in Birmingham were not motivated by right-wing extremism and are not being treated as terror-related, police have said.

A 34 year-old man has been detained under the Mental Health Act after windows were smashed at five Islamic centres in the city on 21 March.

West Midlands Police said in a statement it had conducted “a thorough investigation” with the support of the regional Counter Terrorism Unit and was not seeking anyone else in relation to the attacks.

“We are satisfied they were not motivated by right wing extremism and are not being treated as terror-related,” the force added.

A sixth attack on a mosque in Balsall Heath over the weekend is not being linked to the others and is the subject of a separate investigation.

The incidents prompted fear among local communities in the aftermath of the terror attacks on two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand, in which 50 people were killed.

Assistant Chief Constable Matt Ward said: “We continue to work in partnership with mosques and local communities around the West Midlands. There will be a visible police presence at key locations to offer reassurance to our communities and we continue to offer any assistance in providing security advice.”

Police said that anyone with concerns should speak to officers directly or to get in contact with their local neighbourhood teams. Officers have been carrying out increased patrols at key locations to reassure the local community.

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The five mosques targeted last Thursday were the Witton Islamic Centre and the Masjid Madrassa Faizal Islam in Perry Barr, Al Habib Trust and Jamia Mosque in Aston, and Ghousia Mosque in Erdington.

CCTV cameras captured a vandal using an object believed to be a sledgehammer before running away from the building.

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