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Man arrested over alleged threat to ‘burn mosques’ in Stoke on Bonfire Night

Man arrested over alleged threat to ‘burn mosques’ in Stoke on Bonfire Night

Categories: Latest News

Monday November 07 2016

The Daily Mail and Daily Express reproduce a report from Stoke-based local paper, The Sentinel, about the arrest of a man in his 30s by police following the appearance of Facebook threats about burning mosques on Bonfire Night.

The local paper was alerted to the social media posts by a woman of Pakistani heritage who saw the posts and notified Facebook, Crimestoppers and The Sentinel. The woman said she suspected the perpetrator to be someone whose children attend the same school as her son.

The paper notes that several posts were identified on the page of “Shuff Mohammed.” The page contains “dozens of hate-filled pictures, videos and comments.”

Among comments found on the page was this: “5th of November, remember, remember it’s national burn a mosque night”.

The paper suggests pictures of various “targets” were identified on the page including “City Central Mosque, Normacot Mosque, an Islamic centre in Waterloo Road, Cobridge, and the former North Road School in Cobridge which has been converted into a community centre with prayer rooms.”

The page also boasts “a selfie of a masked man outside City Central Mosque, in Regent Road, Hanley.”

Police confirmed the matter is under investigation saying they were taking the threats “very seriously” and urged anyone with information on the identity of the person behind the Facebook profile to get in touch.

Staffordshire police have said they will be stepping up patrols in Muslim communities such as Normacot, Cobridge, Shelton, Hanley and Tunstall over Bonfire weekend.

Inspector Paul Johnson, from Stoke-on-Trent Central Local Policing Team, said: “A man has been arrested this afternoon [4 November] in connection with inciting racial hatred through social media.

“The man, in his 30s from the Stoke-on-Trent area, remains in police custody.

“We’ve received reports from concerned members of the public about comments made on social media. We are taking this matter very seriously.”

The woman who spotted the material online told The Sentinel, “It’s the talk of the Muslim community. His posts are deeply offensive but I just thought he was looking for attention. I didn’t really take it very seriously. But now it seems he is taking it further by making threats to burn down mosques on Bonfire Night. I’m surprised Facebook hasn’t shut the profile down.”

Staffordshire police are urging anyone with information is asked to call 101, quoting incident number 312 of October 26. Alternatively, call Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.


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