The suspect was arrested on suspicion of attempted murder after the 70-year-old pensioner was set on fire as he was leaving a Birmingham mosque over a similar attack in west London three weeks earlier.
- Muhammad Riaz was sprayed with an unknown substance and set on fire
- It came three weeks after an 82-year-old worshiper was set on fire in west London
A suspect who was detained on suspicion of attempted murder after setting fire to a pensioner as he was leaving a mosque in Birmingham, has been arrested over a similar attack in west London three weeks earlier.
Mohammad Riaz, 70, was sprayed with an unknown substance and set on fire moments after leaving his Birmingham place of worship, which he goes to regularly, on Monday.
The attack on Mr. Riaz – who is in a serious but stable condition after a skin transplant – was caught graphically on a CCTV camera and caused panic in the area with officers stepping up patrols.
But Monday’s attack near the Dudley Road mosque came exactly three weeks after a similar incident 120 miles away in Ealing, when a worshiper, 82-year-old Mr Hashi, was set on fire after being pursued from the West London Islamic Centre. He was taken to hospital to receive treatment for severe burns on his face and arms.
The police have been investigating whether the two incidents are related – and today they have confirmed that they are connected.
Mohammad Riyaz (pictured), 70, was sprayed with an unknown substance and set on fire in the attack
Video shared on social media shows a man being burned by another person in Edgbaston, Birmingham, on Monday
Police have arrested a man (pictured) on suspicion of attempted murder after setting fire to an elderly worshiper as he was returning home from a mosque on Monday.
Investigators and counter-terrorism police are questioning the suspect on two counts of attempted murder. officers They say they are not sure of the motive for the attacks.
“We completely understand the shock that reverberated throughout the community following this incident,” said Senior Superintendent Sean Wilson, of the Met’s Western Region Command.
Although a man has been arrested, we remain vigilant and urge locals to do the same.
Highly visible patrols around Singapore Road will continue in the coming days to provide reassurance to the local population and I urge anyone interested to approach the officers.
The accident happened in Ealing around 8pm on Monday 27 February. Describing the attack, officers said: “The suspect engaged in conversation with the victim as they were leaving the West London Islamic Center (WILC).
They had been talking for five minutes when the suspect doused the victim with a liquid believed to be petrol, before lighting it on fire with a lighter. Then the suspect walked away.
The victim was taken to hospital, where he received treatment for severe burns to his face and arms.
Friends of the elderly man say he is anxious about returning to pray at his place of worship after the attack.
Riaz, 70, was sprayed with an unknown substance and set on fire moments after leaving Dudley Road Mosque (pictured) in Edgbaston, Birmingham
Members of the Ealing community in Ealing say they were left feeling ‘insecure’ and ‘cautious’ following the West London Islamic Center attack (pictured)
Members of the Ealing community in Ealing say they are left feeling “insecure” and wary.
Jama Ahmed, who is praying at the conference, said: Mr. Hashi is fine. He is recovering well.
“But he’s a bit worried about going back to the mosque again, though he doesn’t know why he was attacked.”
Siddiq Hashi, 50, added: “The police came shortly after and wandered around for two weeks, but we are very careful while praying.
Youngsters and teens do not feel confident to go out in the evening and go home straight after their prayers. ”The community feels insecure. It’s okay during the day, but in the evening people are careful.
“It’s Ramadan and we’re finishing late, so everyone is a little worried.
Thousands of people come to the mosque during Ramadan.
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