LONDON: Two mosques in the city of Birmingham were attacked with catapults and ball bearings on Wednesday night smashing several windows during evening prayers.
Masjid Qamarul Islam mosque and the nearby Al Hijrah Masjid mosque, both in Small Heath were hit with large ball bearings within an hour at around 10pm (local time) from a heavy-duty catapult.
“Firearms officers were deployed as a precaution, but the bearings recovered are thought to be from a heavy-duty catapult,” West Midlands Police said in a statement on Twitter.
“The reason for the attacks aren’t clear at this stage, but officers are continuing to patrol the area to reassure worshippers and local residents,” the statement said.
Two mosques in Small Heath hit by catapult bearings, breaking windows during evening prayers tonight – Masjid Qamarul Islam mosque on Fosbrooke Road around 10pm & Al-Hijrah mosque on Hob Moor Road 20 mins later. Firearms officers deployed as a precaution. Ring 101 with any info. pic.twitter.com/JLtBghVujP
— Birmingham Police (@brumpolice) August 15, 2018
The motive behind the attack is yet to be established and police started an investigation. Extra officers were deployed in the area to reassure worshippers and local residents.
According to media reports, the attack took place just 24 hours after 29-year-old Birmingham resident Salih Khater arrested on suspicion of bringing terrorism to Westminster.
“Whilst we don’t fully know the motives yet, these ball bearings are the size of marbles – [and have the] potential to kill,” said the Birmingham-based Bahu Trust, which runs several British mosques.
Last night 2 mosques attacked by metal ballbearings, one of them being a BahuTrust affiliated mosque. Whilst we don’t fully know the motives yet, these ballbearings are the size of marbles – potential to kill.
— Bahu Trust UK (@bahutrustuk) August 16, 2018