Fire assault cases linked, man charged

Image above: West London Islamic Centre

Mohammed Abbkr charged with two counts of attempted murder

A man has been charged with two counts of attempted murder after two men were set alight outside mosques, one in Ealing and one in Edgbaston, Birmingham.

Mohammed Abbkr, aged 28, from Edgbaston, was charged on Thursday 23 March and remanded to appear at Coventry Magistrates’ Court.

Abbkr is alleged to have sprayed a substance on two men and set it alight in separate incidents in Ealing and Birmingham on Monday 27 February and Monday 20 March respectively.

Mohammed Rayaz, aged 70, suffered severe burns to his hands and face when he was sprayed with a substance and set alight on Shenstone Road in Edgbaston.  His injuries are described as ‘life-changing’.

In London an 82 year-old man was attacked in a similar way outside the West London Islamic Centre in Singapore Road.

Police made the connection when they arrested Abbkr was arrested on Tuesday 21 March. The investigation has been carried out jointly by the Metropolitan Police Service, West Midlands Police and Counter Terrorism Policing.

Chief Superintendent Sean Wilson, of the Metropolitan Police West Area Command, said after the arrest:

“We completely understand the shock that resonated throughout the community following this incident.

“Despite a man having been arrested, we continue to be vigilant and urge local people to do the same. Highly visible patrols around Singapore Road will continue in the coming days to provide reassurance to local people and I urge anyone who is concerned to approach officers.”

The Police are asking for anyone with CCTV, ring doorbell footage or video footage that could help their investigation to send it to them directly by using this link: https://mipp.police.uk/operation/20HQ23C02-PO1

Anyone with information has been asked to get in touch on 101 or alternatively, via the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

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