CCTV images released of two men wanted in connection with Braintree mosque attack
Categories: Latest News
Friday January 13 2017
The Mirror and the Daily Express report on the release of CCTV images showing two hooded men “booting in” the door of the Al Falah Islamic Centre in Braintree, Essex, before setting a bag of rubbish alight and throwing it onto the corrugated roof of the building causing the flames to spread.
The papers display the CCTV images showing the two men on the mosque premises. Both men are believed to have been drunk at the time of the incident in the early hours of Sunday morning, 8 January.
Secretary of the Al Falah Islamic Centre, Sikander Sleemy, said: “I think the first boy tried to break in but couldn’t and they grabbed some rubbish and set it alight and threw it on the porch area on the roof and, because of the weight of the bag, it just burned and came straight through.
“It was burning when one of our taxi drivers was passing. He put the fire out with a bottle of water.”
Essex police are treating the incident as a suspected hate crime. Braintree Chief Inspector Craig Carrington, from Essex Police, said: “This is a concerning but rare incident and the impact it has had on the community cannot be underestimated.
“We are investigating the offence and are working with our partners to reassure the community at this time.”
It is the second time the Al Falah centre has been targeted in a suspected hate crime incident. The centre was one of the first cases of anti-Muslim attacks to be reported in the hours following the murder of Fusilier Lee Rigby in May 2013.
Geoffery Ryan, was jailed for nine months in August 2013 for two counts of possessing an offensive weapon after turning up at the Al Falah Centre with a knife and throwing a smoke device on 22 May, 2013.
The centre responded to the hate crime incident in 2013 by hosting an interfaith community Fun Day to build bridges.