A man has been charged with two counts of attempted murder following the setting alight of two elderly Muslim men near mosques in London and Birmingham.
Mohammed Abbkr, 28, from Edgbaston in Birmingham, was charged today and has appeared at Birmingham Magistrates’ Court.
Abbkr, who is originally from Sudan, spoke only to confirm his name, age and address and was remanded in custody. He is due at Birmingham Crown Court on April 20.
Hashi Odowa, 82, was set alight outside West London Islamic Centre in Ealing on February 27. He received hospital treatment for severe burns to his face and arms after the attack.
Mohammed Rayaz, 70, was also set on fire and seriously injured in Edgbaston, near Dudley Road Mosque, on Monday. Mr Rayaz’s family said he remains in a serious but stable condition in hospital following a skin graft operation.
Abbkr is alleged to have sprayed a substance on the two men and set it alight.
On Tuesday, officers from West Midlands Police arrested Abbkr on suspicion of the attempted murder in Birmingham. And following joint enquiries the incident in Birmingham and Ealing were linked.
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Chief Superintendent Sean Wilson, of the Met’s West Area Command, said: “We completely understand the shock that resonated throughout the community following this incident.
“Despite a man having been arrested, we continue to be vigilant and urge local people to do the same. Highly visible patrols around Singapore Road will continue in the coming days to provide reassurance to local people and I urge anyone who is concerned to approach officers.”
West Midlands Police continue to ask anyone with CCTV, ring doorbell footage or video footage that could help its investigation to send this directly by using this link.
Anyone with information has also been asked to get in touch on 101 or alternatively, via the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.