By Aishah Ali
Police have released pictures of a man they want for questioning in relation to an explosion on June 21 at Aisha Mosque and Islamic Centre in Walsall, West Midlands. The remains of the device found was said to be a home-made bomb. The police refused to consider home made bomb attack as a terrorist attack.
West Midlands Police spokesman said, “There is no evidence or intelligence at this time to suggest the Walsall explosive is an act of terrorism.”
Army experts had ordered the evacuation of around 40 homes, 150 people, from Rutter Street, as the bomb disposal team were called to the scene. No one was injured and minimal damage was found around the device. Worshippers were able to return after two days.
The man is said to be white in his 20s or 30s and of slim to medium built. Detectives said on July 17 that they “urgently need to identify the person in these pictures.”
A 75-year-old man from Walsall arrested on June 27 in connection with this investigation has been eliminated from enquiries.
Residents near the mosque, which borders public houses, reported that a bang was heard on Friday evening, June 21, but police were not alerted until the following day as members of the public found pieces of wires and batteries with the burnt out device, and alerted the mosque. Supt Keith Fraser said: “It was found near the mosque, not in the grounds of the mosque.”
Zia Ul Haq, from UK Islamic Mission, said: “We found this suspicious item which we didn’t consider to be very serious or very threatening. But as a precaution we thought that we would call the police and bring this to their attention.”
Superintendent Keith Fraser, of West Midlands Police, said the incident was being treated as a hate crime.
The West Midlands Police said: “Officers from the West Midlands Counter Terrorism Unit have since been conducting a large and detailed investigation which includes the recovery of many hours of CCTV pictures from the area and beyond.”