Bomb blast debris found near Wolverhampton Central Mosque

Bomb blast debris has been found near a mosque in Wolverhampton, as police continued to question two foreign students over the West Midlands-wide terrorism investigation.

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Bomb blast debris has been found near a mosque in Wolverhampton, as police continued to question two foreign students over the West Midlands-wide terrorism investigation.

Wolverhampton Central Mosque was last night evacuated just hours after detectives and an Army bomb disposal unit swooped on an industrial park in Birmingham where the two suspects were arrested.

Today they revealed that they had found the “seat of an explosion” and debris, on the Five Ways roundabout.

Assistant Chief Constable Marcus Beale, who is leading the investigation, said today: “Officers searching the area have found the seat of an explosion and debris on the island near the mosque.

“The investigation is being led by specialist officers and staff from our Counter Terrorism Unit who are being supported by a range of departments from across the force.

“We recognise the impact news of the latest find will have on the communities of Wolverhampton and further afield. We’re working hard to complete our enquiries so that the area can be returned to normality.

“We are keen to hear from people who may have seen anyone acting suspiciously on or near to the roundabout on the night of the 27 or the morning of 28 June,” said ACC Beale.

“Whether people feel the information is important or not, I would urge them to contact us so that we can assess that information.”

Detectives were today quizzing the Ukranian men – aged 22 and 25 – on suspicion of causing the recent bomb blasts at mosques in Walsall and Tipton.

Police said they were acting on fresh intelligence about a suspected bomb plot at the Wolverhampton mosque in Waterloo Road as they revealed they were heading to the scene last night.

They had been called to the mosque on June 28 to investigate reports of a noise, but found nothing untoward. New information yesterday sparked a major police operation as officers searched the mosque and surrounding area for signs of any device.

Nothing was found at the mosque, which has now reopened for worship.

They evacuated the building at 8pm yesterday. Military bomb disposal and specialist search teams also descended on the mosque.

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Security has been heightened at mosques around the region and police have stepped up patrols to ensure a higher visibility presence on the streets.

Officers insisted the Wolverhampton evacuation – which involved cordoning off parts of Stafford Road, Cannock Road and Dunstall Road – was to ensure safety and security of the community. Superintendent Jan Thomas-West from Wolverhampton Police said: “We had a report of a noise on June 28.

“Nothing untoward was found at that particular time. We received information which resulted in an attendance at the mosque.”

The message from mosque leaders was one of calm as they came to terms with the day of drama. Prayers were redirected from the Waterloo Road mosque to nearby Dunstall Hill Community Centre, where senior mosque member Mahmood Khan said relations with police and the community were extremely positive. He added: “We’re united against this.”

In Birmingham, parts of the city had earlier been brought to a standstill and hundreds of workers were evacuated from software engineering company Delcam – where the two suspects were arrested at 2.50pm.

Detectives, an Army bomb disposal unit and police dog team carried out investigations late into the night. The first man was arrested after being spotted by officers working in the local area, and the second was arrested nearby. It is believed an officer on routine patrol spotted one of the men and initially identified him as a suspect in the Walsall mosque bomb inquiry.

The pair, who remained in custody today, are university engineering students and are on work placement with Delcam.

Clive Martell, chief executive of Delcam, said: “We had two men arrested on our premises. They are both Eastern European and they are here as overseas students on work placement and are not employees of ours.”

He added: “This is completely unexpected and we are fully co-operating with the police.”

It is believed the pair did not know each other before they met at the company.

The first terror investigation was launched after a handmade device exploded by the Aisha Mosque and Islamic Centre in Rutter Street, Caldmore, on June 21. The road was sealed off and around 150 residents evacuated from their homes, as white-suited forensic officers scoured the scene for clues.

Police reveal details of the arrests at the scene

A 75-year-old man from Walsall who was arrested on June 27 in connection with the investigation has been eliminated from inquiries and faces no further action.

Then on July 12, counter terrorism police, the army and bomb disposal teams were sent to the Kanz-ul-Iman Muslim Welfare Association Central Jamia Mosque in Tipton after nearby residents heard a loud bang.

The blast, which resulted in nails and debris flying into nearby buildings, happened at around 1pm when there should have been hundreds of people inside the mosque – but the first Friday prayers of Ramadan had been put back by an hour so there were just three people present.

Link

What the EDL had to say about the latest bomb find

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About 3cafa

Gloucester, Hereford & Worcester Anti-fascists View all posts by 3cafa

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