Terror suspect is held over murder of Mohammed Saleem

One of two men being held in relation to bomb attacks near three mosques has been arrested in connection with the murder of 75-year-old Mr Saleem  

Heather Saul
Sunday 15 February 2015 22:19
Mohammed Saleem was stabbed to death on his way home from a mosque
Mohammed Saleem was stabbed to death on his way home from a mosque

One of two Ukrainian men being held over bomb attacks near three mosques has been arrested on suspicion of murdering a 75-year-old man, police have confirmed.

West Midands Police said the suspect, aged 25, was arrested at 5.05pm on Saturday in relation to “a further act of terrorism”.

A police spokesman said: “This arrest is in connection with the murder of Mohammed Saleem in Small Heath, Birmingham on Monday 29 April.”

Mr Saleem was killed after being stabbed in the back in Green Lane, Small Heath on his way home from a mosque.

Two Ukrainian nationals, aged 25 and 22, were detained by West Midlands Police in Small Heath on Thursday by detectives investigating explosions at mosques in Walsall, Wolverhampton and Tipton between 22 June and 12 July.

The family of Mr Saleem have been informed of the latest development in the inquiry, the police spokesman added.

Detectives described the stabbing of Mr Saleem, a popular figure in the local community, as a “despicable” attack on a defenceless pensioner.

A joint family statement read during a press conference at West Midlands Police headquarters on 2 May described Mr Saleem as “a much-loved and respected community member”.

The statement read: “We can't express our feelings of sadness and devastation.

“It's hard to accept that our beloved father and grandfather has been taken from us in such a brutal way.”

Yesterday, counter-terrorism officers were granted extra time to question the Ukrainian nationals in connection with the explosions.

A sitting of Westminster Magistrates Court granted officers up to seven days to question the men, who were initially detained on suspicion of being involved in the commission, preparation or instigation of an act of terrorism.

Speaking after police were allowed further time to question the two suspects, Assistant Chief Constable Marcus Beale said: “We continue to investigate the circumstances surrounding the three explosions and are appealing to anyone who may have seen anything suspicious around these dates to contact us.

“We do not underestimate the impact this will have on communities across the West Midlands.

“The support of all communities has been fantastic with wider faith communities coming together to show solidarity.

“I would appeal to people, if you have the smallest piece of information that my help the investigation then please contact us on 101 at the earliest opportunity.”

Additional reporting by PA