Two men have been arrested in connection to the bomb attacks on mosques in Walsall and Tipton.
Army bomb disposal experts were called to Talbot Way, Small Heath where two men – both eastern European – were arrested yesterday at 3pm.
The two suspects were arrested under the Terrorism Act 2000 in connection with the bomb attack on Aisha Mosque in Walsall on 21 June and Kanz ul-Iman Jamia Mosque in Tipton last Friday.
Local resident, Imran Sharif said to 5 Pillarz: “Police cordoned off the area around 3pm and the community initially thought it was another bomb attack. We were then told the arrests were made in connection to the two bomb attacks on mosques in Walsall and Tipton.”
The 25 and 22-year-old were arrested by detectives from the West Midlands Counter Terrorism Unit for their involvement in the two terrorist attacks on two west Midlands mosques.
Detectives and the forensics team carried out a search of the area and properties around the industrial estate were evacuated as a safety precaution.
Road closures were placed on the following roads: Small Heath Highway at Golden Hillock Road, heading into the city, Golden Hillock Road at Small Heath Highway, heading out of the city and Coventry Road at Talbot Road were all closed off causing severe traffic congestion in the area.
One of the suspects was arrested after being spotted by police officers working in the local area and the second man was arrested at a nearby property.
Leading the operation, Assistant chief constable Marcus Beale said: “I would like to thank the public for their ongoing support and the way in which they responded to our appeal. I appreciate that there is significant disruption whilst experts search and check this area. These road closures are essential to ensure that we keep everyone safe.
“Investigations like this are complex and we need to ensure that we obtain every piece of information or forensic evidence possible. This could take some time. What I can say is that we will endeavour to return the local area to normal as quickly as possible.”
Anyone with information which may help detectives with the ongoing major investigation should call police on 101 or the independent crime fighting charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.
Wolverhampton mosque evacuated
Bomb disposal experts were called to a mosque in Wolverhampton after police received information about a “possible device” yesterday evening around 8pm.
Wolverhampton Central Mosque and the surrounding area around the building were evacuated while a search was carried out.
Mohammed Aleem a regular worshiper at Wolverhampton Central Mosque said to 5 Pillarz: “The mosque and the surrounding area were evacuated by the police. The local community was in shock and scared at the same time.
“This is the third bomb scare in the west Midlands area, the two in Walsall and Tipton were confirmed bombs. The Muslim community has been living in fear since the Woolwich attack and our places of worship are being targeted.”
A spokesman for West Midlands Police said the evacuation was necessary “to ensure the absolute safety and security” of the local community.
The possible explosive device, which police believe may have been activated last month, was discovered as part of an investigation into recent attacks near mosques in Walsall and Tipton.
Since the murder of British soldier, Lee Rigby in Woolwich on May 22, Islamophobic attacks have increased across Britain.
Numerous mosques and Islamic centres have been fire bombed and targeted with bombs.
A mosque in Braintree, Essex and Gillingham, Kent was attacked on the evening of the Woolwich murder.
A mosque in Bletchley, Milton Keynes and Grimsby Islamic Cultural Centre was fire bombed within days of the of the Woolwich incident. Al Rahma Islamic Centre in Muswell Hill, North London was torched to the ground with “EDL” painted on its walls.
Darul Uloom in Chislehurst, Greater London was also set on fire weeks after the Woolwich attack.
A bomb was left at Aisha Mosque in Walsall on 21 June and at Kanz ul-Iman Jamia Mosque in Tipton last Friday just after jummah prayers.