CCTV captures attack on Muslim man set on fire as he walked home from mosque
A Muslim man suffered burns when he was set on fire by a stranger as he walked home from a mosque.
Counter-terrorism police are now involved in the investigation and a man has been arrested on suspicion of attempted murder.
The victim suffered facial burns when his jacket was set alight in Shenstone Road in Edgbaston, Birmingham, at around 7pm on Monday.
West Midlands Police said it is aware of a similar incident in the Ealing area of London and is working with the Metropolitan Police to see whether the incidents are linked.
The Met said an 82-year-old man was set alight on Singapore Road on February 27 as the suspect and victim both left the West London Islamic Centre.
West Midlands Police said officers are studying video footage of Monday evening’s attack which has been circulated on social media.
A man was arrested on Tuesday afternoon on Dudley Road on suspicion of attempted murder.
The man, who remains in custody, was identified by officers who were in the area carrying out inquiries following the attack.
Earlier, police said it is believed the man, who was walking home from Dudley Road Mosque, was approached by a man.
“He spoke to him briefly before spraying him with an unknown substance and then his jacket was set alight, causing burns to his face.
“He was taken to hospital with serious injuries which are thankfully not believed to be life-threatening.”
Officers are aware of a video posted on social media “showing a man being set alight, and we’re examining it as part of our investigations”, the statement added.
Extra officers will be in the area to speak to the community and to provide reassurance.
Following the attack, Birmingham City Council leader Ian Ward, Cabinet member for social justice, community safety and equalities John Cotton, and ward councillors Sharon Thompson and Marcus Bernasconi said: “This was a horrific attack and our thoughts are with the victim and his family at such a distressing time.
“Councillors and the community safety team are speaking to the family and West Midlands Police. We will continue to offer our support.
“Council officers, local councillors and MP have also been engaging with community groups and local mosques to offer support to the wider community.
“We would urge the community to work with the police and to avoid any speculation at this stage – and also like to thank them for their willingness to share information on this incident.”
Anyone with information has been asked to get in touch with West Midlands Police via Live Chat on the force website or to contact Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.