Sixth Birmingham mosque targeted by vandals

Another Birmingham mosque has been targeted by vandals.

Police are examining CCTV after criminal damage was caused to a window of the building in Cromer Road, Balsall Heath, on Saturday morning.

Detectives do not believe the incident is linked to five other attacks on mosques in the city.

An investigation, involving counter-terrorism officers, was launched after five mosques had their windows broken with a sledgehammer in the early hours of Thursday morning.

West Midlands Police said a 34-year-old man arrested on suspicion of racially aggravated criminal damage after handing himself into a city police station on Friday has been detained under the Mental Health Act.

No-one else is being sought in relation to the first five incidents and detectives do not believe the suspect was part of an organised group, although the investigation is ongoing.

Forensic officers work on the mosque and community centre on Albert Road (Aaron Chown/PA)

A 38-year-old man from Yardley, who was arrested after being detained by members of the community on Friday afternoon, has been released without charge and will face no further action.

Officers received reports of vandalism at Al Habib Trust in Birchfield Road at 2.32am and then attended a second attack at the Ghousia Mosque in Slade Road, Erdington, at 3.14am.

Police presence at the Slade Road Mosque, Birmingham for Friday prayers where police responded to reports of smashed windows after five mosques were attacked (Aaron Chown/PA)

Patrols then started in areas with mosques and police came across further damage to Witton Islamic Centre in Witton Road, Aston, and Masjid Madrassa Faizal Islam on Broadway in Perry Barr.

At 10.04am, officers responded to a smashed window at Jamia Mosque on Albert Road, Aston, after pictures were circulated on social media.

Police were called to a mosque in Cromer Road, Balsall Heath, at 6.30am on Saturday following reports of criminal damage.

Police have said increased patrols will continue at key locations to reassure communities and security advice is being provided to religious establishments across the West Midlands.

Louisa Rolfe, Deputy Chief Constable of West Midlands Police (Aaron Chown/PA)

Outside the mosque on Albert Road on Thursday, Deputy Chief Constable Louisa Rolfe described the attacks as “an abhorrent, despicable act that is clearly designed to create fear in our communities who are actually cherished in Birmingham”.

Assistant Chief Constable Matt Ward said: “We continue to work in partnership with mosques and local communities around the West Midlands.

“There will be a visual police presence at key locations to offer reassurance to our communities.

“It is incredibly important that we unite together against those who seek to create discord, uncertainty and fear.”

- Press Association

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