Counter terrorism police and detectives questioning suspect believed to have set an old man on fire
The man was walking home from this mosque in Dudley Road when the attack happened (Image by BBC)
A man remains in custody after being arrested on suspicion of attempted murder after a man in his 70s was set alight on Shenstone Road in Edgbaston, Birmingham, on Monday evening as he walked home from Dudley Road mosque.
Detectives, along with counter-terrorism police are questioning the suspect. The victim was approached and sprayed with a substance after which his jacket was set on fire.
He was taken to hospital with serious injuries which are thankfully not believed to be life threatening.
Nearby resident Mohammed Abbasim said he was shocked to know that someone he knew was attacked like that.
“This gentleman, who is a victim, our family knows him – we know who it is,” he told BBC Radio WM.
He received a video on WhatsApp and when he stepped out, he could see the police tape around the scene of the crime.
He admitted that the incident made him feel “concerned” for the safety of his close ones adding, “It’s shocking to see that someone that you know has been targeted in this way.”
“I could sense that there were things locally over the past few years, where certain communities had kind of started dividing more,” he continued.
Scorch marks on the pavement where the victim was set alight (Image by BBC)
“When things like this happen, it’s an opportunity for the local people to come together rather than divide further,” he added.
After the attack happened, neighbours came to the man’s rescue and put out the fire. They then carried him home where he was looked after by the paramedics.
He was taken to the hospital with serious burns to his face but according to reports he is in a stable condition.
His son said his father was “very badly burned” and the family was praying for his recovery, the BBC mentioned.
The suspect was spotted by officers in Dudley Road after carrying out enquiries in the area on 21 March and an arrest was made.
A similar incident had occurred in Ealing, west London last month, which has led The West Midlands and Metropolitan police forces to investigate the case further
In a statement the West Mislands Police wrote: “We are aware of a similar incident in the Ealing area of London and we are working with the Metropolitan Police Service to see whether they are linked.
“At this stage we cannot speculate around the motive into the attack, this is a live investigation and our main aim is to make sure your communities are safe and that we bring justice for the victim.”