UK & World News

  • 21 July 2013, 14:53

Mosque Blasts Suspect Held Over OAP's Murder

One of two Ukrainian men being held in connection to bomb attacks near three mosques in the West Midlands has been arrested over the murder of a 82-year-old man.

West Midlands Police say the 25-year-old terror suspect was arrested in relation to "a further act of terrorism".

A police spokesman said: "This arrest is in connection with the murder of Mohammed Saleem in Small Heath, Birmingham on Monday April 29."

The stabbing death of Mr Saleem, a highly-regarded and well-known figure in the local community, was described by detectives at the time as a "despicable" attack on a defenceless pensioner.

A joint family statement read during a press conference at West Midlands Police headquarters on May 2 described Mr Saleem as "a much-loved and respected community member".

The statement read: "We can't express our feelings of sadness and devastation.

"It's hard to accept that our beloved father and grandfather has been taken from us in such a brutal way."

On Saturday, counter-terrorism officers were granted extra time to question the Ukrainian nationals in connection with the explosions.

A sitting of Westminster Magistrates' Court granted officers up to seven days to question the men, who were initially detained on suspicion of being involved in the commission, preparation or instigation of an act of terrorism.

Following the men's arrest, the "seat of an explosion and debris" were found on a roundabout near the Wolverhampton Central Mosque.

Police believe the debris came from a device that exploded on the city's Fiveways roundabout at about 9.15am on June 28.

The remnants of a home-made explosive device were found outside a mosque in Walsall on Saturday June 22, and another device, containing nails, exploded near a mosque in Binfield Road, Tipton, on July 12.

No one was injured by any of the explosions.

Speaking after police were granted further time to question the two suspects, Assistant Chief Consatble Marcus Beale said: "We continue to investigate the circumstances surrounding the three explosions and are appealing to anyone who may have seen anything suspicious around these dates to contact us.

"We do not underestimate the impact this will have on communities across the West Midlands.

"The support of all communities has been fantastic with wider faith communities coming together to show solidarity.

"I would appeal to people, if you have the smallest piece of information that my help the investigation then please contact us on 101 at the earliest opportunity."

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