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Birmingham mosque attacks: Man detained under Mental Health Act

Six Islamic centres have been vandalised

Toyin Owoseje
Saturday 23 March 2019 17:29 GMT
CCTV shows Birmingham sledgehammer attack on mosque

Police are investigating another mosque attack in Birmingham after five Islamic centres were targeted across the city.

Officers were called to a madarasa on Cromer Road, Balsall Heath at 6.30am on Saturday following reports of criminal damage.

CCTV footage is now being examined to determine what happened to the mosque.

An investigation, involving counter-terrorism officers, was launched after five mosques had their windows broken with a sledgehammer in the early hours of Thursday morning.

Although officials are not linking the attack to the other five acts of vandalism in the city, investigations continue.

A man was arrested on Friday in connection to the attacks.

The 34-year-old suspect from Perry Barr was detained under the Mental Health Act after handing himself in, West Midlands Police said.

Officers responded to a call that a man was smashing the windows of the Al Habib Trust in Birchfield Road with a sledgehammer at 2.32am on Thursday and then attended a second attack at the Ghousia Mosque in Slade Road, Erdington, at 3.14am.

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

At 10.04am, officers responded to a smashed window at Jamia Mosque on Albert Road, Aston, after pictures were circulated on social media.

A 38-year-old man from Yardley who was arrested earlier after being detained by members of the public has been released without charge.

Assistant Chief Constable Matt Ward said it was important to “unite together” as investigators worked to “determine the motive for the incidents”.

“We continue to work in partnership with mosques and local communities around the West Midlands,” he said.

“There will be a visual police presence at key locations to offer reassurance to our communities.

“It is incredibly important that we unite together against those who seek to create discord, uncertainty and fear.“

The force added that they are not seeking anyone else in relation to these five attacks and do not believe the suspect was part of an organised group.

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Home secretary Sajid Javid said the vandalism was “deeply concerning”.

He tweeted: “@WMPolice are investigating motive but let me be clear – hateful behaviour has absolutely no place in our society & will never be accepted.”

Anyone with information has been asked to get in touch via Live Chat on between 8am and midnight or by calling 101

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