Saturday March 23, 2019
Two men have been arrested in connection with a series of attacks on five mosques across Birmingham.One suspect, a 38-year-old man from Yardley, was detained by members of the public while the second, a 34-year-old man from the Perry Barr area of the city, handed himself in to a police station.
They were both arrested on suspicion of racially aggravated criminal damage on Friday afternoon.
“This is a significant step forward in our enquiries however the investigation continues into the motive for the incidents,” said Assistant Chief Constable Matt Ward of West Midlands Police.
“We are working extremely closely with mosques and local communities around the West Midlands and this will continue.
“It remains incredibly important that we unite together against those who seek to create discord, uncertainty and fear.”
Both men remained in custody on Friday evening.
West Midlands Police had launched a counterterrorism investigation after windows were smashed at five mosques in Birmingham between 1.25am and 3.15am on Thursday.
CCTV cameras captured a vandal in a hoodie attacking at Witton Islamic Centre with an object believed to be a sledgehammer before running away from the building.
The other mosques targeted were the Masjid Madrassa Faizal Islam in Perry Barr, Al Habib Trust and Jamia Mosque in Aston and Ghousia Mosque in Erdington.
West Midlands Police said that increased patrols would continue at key locations to reassure the local community.
It came at a time of heightened concern for the safety of Muslims in Western countries, following the terror attack on two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand last week.