Investigations linking counter-terrorism officers has been launched after mosques in Birmingham had their windows smashed with a sledgehammer overnight. Neighbourhood officers are working closely with mosques around the West Midlands today.
Officers were called at 2.32am on Thursday 21st March after reports of an attack on a mosque on Birchfield Road in Birmingham.
Police were then called to a second mosque attack on Slade Road in Erdington at 3.14am.
Patrols were then started in areas with mosques and officers came across further damage on Witton Road, Aston, and on Broadway, Perry Barr.
The force said forensic officers are working to identify evidence and CCTV is being examined.
The attacks are being treated as linked and West Midlands Police and West Midlands Counter Terrorism Unit are yet to determine the motive.
West Midlands Police Chief Constable Dave Thompson said: “Since the tragic events in Christchurch, New Zealand, officers and staff from West Midlands Police have been working closely with our faith partners across the region to offer reassurance and support at mosques, churches and places of prayer.
“At the moment we don’t know the motive for last night’s attacks.
“What I can say is that the force and the Counter Terrorism Unit are working side-by-side to find whoever is responsible.”
Mr Thompson added: “At difficult times like this, it is incredibly important that everyone unites against those who seek to create discord, uncertainty and fear in our communities.”
The force have asked anyone with information to come forward.
Labour MP for Birmingham Ladywood Shabana Mahmood tweeted today.
Ms Mahmood said: “The reports of attacks on mosques across Birmingham are truly terrible.
“I have spoken with the Chief Constable & will be in constant contact with community leaders throughout the day.
“I would urge all residents to remain calm & call Crime Stoppers with any info you may have.”
Councillor Majid Mahmood tweeted that a sledgehammer was used to break windows.
He tweeted: “Unfortunately the Witton Road Islamic Centre was attacked overnight by an individual who used a sledgehammer to break the windows.
“I said last week that Muslims were afraid after the terrorist attacks in #ChristChurch.
“We need support in Brum @WMPolice.”
Birmingham’s community safety boss, Coun John Cotton, tweeted: “Appalled to see that Birmingham mosques have been the target of vandalism and violence overnight.
“I’m working with West Midlands Police and Birmingham City Council to ensure we find those responsible and support our Muslim communities. These thugs do not speak for Birmingham and will not divide us.