Mosque arson ‘in revenge’

A fire which destroyed the roof of a mosque may have been in revenge for the alleged terror plot to blow up planes leaving UK airports. Police and fire crews were called to the Al-Birr Masjid Mosque in Sarum Hill, Basingstoke, at about 3.30am today after the roof had caught fire. The blaze took 16 firefighters almost two hours to put out.

Nobody was injured in the fire but Assistant Chief Constable Steve Watts, of Hampshire Police, said the fire was being treated as arson and a full investigation was under way. He said: “In this current climate, we cannot rule out the possibility that this incident is related to the recent security threat. Therefore we are treating it extremely seriously and dealing with it appropriately.”

Last year, two men were charged with racially aggravated assault and racially aggravated criminal damage to a vehicle parked at the mosque.

Sun, 12 August 2006