Two arrested after five mosques have windows smashed in Birmingham

Two men have been arrested after five mosques had their windows smashed in Birmingham.

The investigation, involving counter-terrorism officers, began in the early hours of Thursday morning after four mosques had their windows broken with a sledgehammer overnight.

West Midlands Police said a 34-year-old man from Perry Barr handed himself into a city police station and has since been arrested on suspicion of racially aggravated criminal damage.

New Zealand mosque shootings
New Zealand mosque shootings

A 38-year-old man from Yardley has also been arrested after being detained by members of the community on Friday afternoon, the force added.

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.

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.

Birmingham mosques attacked
Birmingham mosques attacked

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

The attacks were treated as linked but West Midlands Police and West Midlands Counter Terrorism Unit are yet to establish a motive.

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.

Birmingham mosques attacked
Birmingham mosques attacked

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: “This is a significant step forward in our inquiries however the investigation continues into the motive for the incidents.

“We are working extremely closely with mosques and local communities around the West Midlands and this will continue.

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

Police said both suspects remain in custody but have asked anyone with information to come forward.