Mar 23, 2019 12:38 Asia/Tehran
  • Damaged windows at a mosque on Albert Road in Birmingham. Photograph: Aaron Chown/PA
    Damaged windows at a mosque on Albert Road in Birmingham. Photograph: Aaron Chown/PA

One man is in custody after police made two arrests over attacks on five mosques in Birmingham.

Iran Press/Europe: The investigation, involving counter-terrorism officers, began in the early hours of Thursday morning after four of the mosques had their windows broken with a sledgehammer overnight. Police initially arrested the two men, but later released one and said he would face no further action, according to The Guardian.

West Midlands police said a 34-year-old man handed himself in and was arrested on suspicion of racially aggravated criminal damage. He is in custody. The man they released is a 38-year-old who had been arrested on suspicion of the same offense after being detained by members of the community.

Officers received reports of vandalism at al-Habib Trust shortly after at 2.30 am and then attended a second attack at the Ghousia mosque just after 3 am.

Patrols then started in other areas and police came across further damage to Witton Islamic Centre and Masjid Madrassa Faizal Islam. At about 10 am, officers responded to a smashed window at Jamia mosque after pictures were circulated on social media.

The attacks are being treated as linked but West Midlands police and the West Midlands counter-terrorism unit are yet to conclusively establish a motive.

Outside the Jamia mosque 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'.

Earlier on March 15, racist attack at London mosque hours after New Zealand shooting

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