Suspected bomb components found at Birmingham software firm

Court sketching of Pavlo Lapshyn in Westminster Magistrates Court

Suspected bomb components have been found in the software firm where the suspected perpetrator of the West Midlands bomb attacks was working.

West Midlands Police have confirmed that after searches of the living quarters at the Small Heath software firm they had uncovered suspected component parts of bombs.

Pavlo Lapshyn, 25, appeared at Westminster Magistrates Court on July 23 accused of stabbing Mohammed Saleem, 82, to death in Small Heath, Birmingham and preparing terrorism acts against three mosques in the West Midlands.

Assistant Chief Constable Marcus Beale, who is leading the operation said: “I appreciate that there has been significant disruption while experts search each of the affected locations, but equally I hope that people understand the need to both ensure public safety while conducting a thorough investigation. People can rest assured that we currently do not assess that there is an ongoing threat.”

A government minister met the family of Mr Saleem and praised the Muslim communities of the West Midlands for their patience and solidarity in response to recent terrorist attacks against mosques.

Security Minister James Brokenshire said: “I have been struck by the dignity of Mr Saleem’s family and by that shown by the representatives from the various mosques. They have been an example to us all through their resilience and with their calls for unity and calm. There will inevitably be some fear and concern in the wider community and I can assure the people of Birmingham that action is being taken.

“Specialist advisers have been giving security advice to mosques, Islamic schools and community centres and there have been increased police patrols and community engagement plans. We must reject the propaganda of people who would seek to divide us – no matter what their political position. And we must remember that terrorism affects people of all backgrounds.”

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Detectives also travelled to the Ukraine earlier this week as part of their investigations.

Islamophobic attacks post Woolwich

Since the murder of British soldier, Lee Rigby on May 22 in Woolwich south east London, 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 Muslim cemetery was desecrated with Islamophobic graffiti in Newport, Wales in June and an Islamic centre in Kirkcaldy, Scotland was also vandalised the night before the start of Ramadan.

A bomb was left at Aisha Mosque in Walsall on June 21 and at Kanz ul-Iman Jamia Mosque in Tipton on July 12 just after jummah prayers. Wolverhampton Central Mosque was also evacuated on July 18 after an explosive device was discovered next to the building.

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