Police: UK Mosque Vandalism Not Related to ‘Far Right’ or Terrorism

BIRMINGHAM, ENGLAND - MARCH 21: People view damage to Jam-E-Masjid Qiblah Hadhrat Sahib Gulhar Shareef mosque on Slade Road after a hammer attack last night braking it's windows last night, on March 21, 2019 in Birmingham, England. Anti-terror police have being called in to investigate the hammer attcaks on five …
Christopher Furlong/Getty

A man has been detained under the Mental Health Act after a series of widely reported vandalism attacks against a number of mosques in the United Kingdom, which hit the headlines in the aftermath of the Christchurch New Zealand mosque shootings.

Several mosques in the Birmingham area of England had their windows smashed on Thursday last week, and counter-terrorism police took over the investigation while a man was arrested under suspicion of causing “racially aggravated criminal damage”.

Speaking at the time, West Midlands Police Chief Constable Dave Thompson appeared to implicitly link the vandalism with the New Zealand attack, remarking: “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… the force and the Counter Terrorism Unit are working side-by-side to find whoever is responsible.

“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.”

But now police say they have found no terror or “right wing extremism” motive for the vandalism, and a 34-year-old male suspect who handed himself over to police last week has been detained under the Mental Health Act. No other suspects are being sought.


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