The United Kingdom police have launched an investigation after a man walking home from the mosque in Birmingham was set on fire by a male suspect.
West Midlands Police, which is leading the investigation with the support of the Counter Terrorism Unit (CTU), said a man was arrested on suspicion of attempted murder after the attack on Monday, March 20, evening.
The victim was taken to hospital with serious injuries, which are not believed to be life threatening.
“Our officers have been working through the night to establish what happened and who is responsible,” Chief Superintendent Richard North, Commander at Birmingham police.
“We are taking this matter extremely seriously and are using all resources available to us. We are keeping an open mind to the motive of the attacker and we won’t speculate further at this stage," he said.
The victim was walking home from Dudley Road mosque in the city, when he was approached by a man.
He spoke to him briefly before spraying with an unknown substance and then his jacket was set alight, causing burns to his face, the police said.
The West Midlands Police said it is examining CCTV and speaking to witnesses and urged the community to work with its officers to avoid any speculation at this stage.
Extra officers have been patrolling the area to speak to the community and to provide reassurance.
North said the force’s investigation continues with support from Counter Terrorism Policing West Midlands CTU because of their specialist capabilities to help establish the circumstances surrounding the incident.
“We have officers patrolling the local area to reassure people and we are visiting local faith establishments to keep them informed,” he added.
Police are also looking into whether a similar attack in west London last month, where an 82-year-old man was set on fire outside a mosque, is linked.
The Metropolitan Police previously said the London victim was set alight as he left the West London Islamic Centre at Singapore Road in the Ealing borough on February 27.