Birmingham mosque attacks probed by terrorism officers

Birmingham mosques attacked with 'sledgehammers' | Daily Star

The attacks in Birmingham are being treated as linked.

Counter-terrorism police after investigating the incidents, which have been described as "deeply concerning" and "distressing" by Home Secretary Sajid Javid. Seven windows and two doors at the Witton Road Islamic Centre in Witton, were smashed at around 1.30am last night.

Police were then called to a second mosque attack on Slade Road in Erdington at 3.14am.

Officers were first alerted in the early hours of Thursday to reports of a man smashing windows with a sledgehammer at one of the places of worship, police said.

The city council's community safety boss, Councillor John Cotton, tweeted: "Appalled to see that Birmingham mosques have been the target of vandalism and violence overnight".

"Birmingham's mosques are a place of worship, serenity and a source of peace and tranquillity".

Outside the mosque on Albert Road on Thursday, Deputy Chief Constable Louisa Rolfe said: "This is an abhorrent, despicable act that is clearly designed to create fear in our communities who are actually cherished in Birmingham".

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"@WMPolice are investigating motive but let me be clear - hateful behaviour has absolutely no place in our society & will never be accepted".

Labour Councillor for Bromford and Hodge Hill Majid Mahmood said that the Witton Road Islamic Centre in Aston had been attacked overnight.

"Because of the force he used it's gone through the windows and into the mosque itself".

Writing in Tuesday's Guardian newspaper, more than 350 imams, scholars and other Muslim leaders appealed to Western governments and media to do more to confront the "systemic and institutionalised Islamophobia" underlying the Christchurch attack.

"What I can say is that the force and the Counter-Terrorism Unit are working side by side to find whoever is responsible", Thompson said.

"My initial reaction was shock that this had happened.There's a fear factor now in that adults are saying they're going to keep their children away from the mosque today because they're anxious that it's not safe", Chairman of Masjid Faizul Islam mosque in Aston, Yousef Zaman said.

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