Man arrested on two counts of attempted murder over ‘linked’ mosque fires in London and Birmingham

Police assembled say two mosque attacks are linked (PA File)

Police assembled say two mosque attacks are linked (PA File)

A man has been arrested on suspicion of two counts of attempted murder after detectives linked two incidents in which men were set on fire in Birmingham and London, the Metropolitan Police said.

An 82-year-old man was set on fire outside a mosque in Ealing on February 27. Mohammed Rayaz was set on fire in Edgbaston on Monday.

The Metropolitan Police said the two incidents have been linked.

Detectives from Met West Area Command are working with West Midlands Police to establish all the circumstances surrounding the incidents, with the West Midlands force leading the investigation.

The Met said counterterrorism officials are supporting the investigations, but officials are keeping an open mind about any possible motivation.

The incident left Mohammed Rayaz, a retired factory worker, with severe burns to his face, hands and chest.

Mr. Rayaz’s son called for help saying “my dad is on fire,” the family’s lawyer said.

He remains in stable condition at Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham after events unfolded around the corner from his home in Shenstone Road, Edgbaston, Birmingham at around 7pm on Monday.

Mohammed Rayaz was set on fire in an unprovoked attack (Family/PA)

Mohammed Rayaz was set on fire in an unprovoked attack (Family/PA)

On Wednesday, the police, assisted by anti-terror officers, have been questioning a man arrested in connection with the incident.

He was arrested at the Dudley Road Mosque where Rayaz had been praying on Monday and is being held on suspicion of two counts of attempted murder.

Family friend and lawyer Shahbon Hussain, whose office faces the mosque, said he received a text from Rayaz’s son, Mohammed Ayaz, minutes after the attack.

He said: “I got a text saying ‘my dad is on fire, someone has set my dad on fire.’

“I thought I had misread and maybe someone had set his car on fire, but it became clear that I hadn’t misread at all.

“He heard his dad scream, the family had come out of the house and they saw it on fire.

“I immediately went over and the police, ambulance and fire brigade were already there.”



Chief Superintendent Sean Wilson, of the Met’s West Area Command, said: “We fully understand the shock that resonated throughout the community following this incident.

“Despite the fact that a man has been arrested, we remain vigilant and urge the local population to do the same. Highly visible patrols around Singapore Road will continue in the coming days to provide reassurance to the local population and I urge anyone concerned to approach officers.”


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