Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 20 December 2014

Woolwich: Two arrested after separate attacks on mosques as English Defence League supporters clash with police

English Defence League leader Tommy Robinson (left) with EDL supporters outside The Queens Arms pub in Woolwich following the death of a man, believed to be a serving soldier, who was butchered in broad daylight  near the Royal Artillery Barracks in Woolwich
English Defence League leader Tommy Robinson (left) with EDL supporters outside The Queens Arms pub in Woolwich following the death of a man, believed to be a serving soldier, who was butchered in broad daylight near the Royal Artillery Barracks in Woolwich
Suspects: Two men with knifes at scene of Woolwich attack
Video grab taken from ITV News of a man holding weapons by the scene in John Wilson Street, Woolwich where a man was found murdered.
Video grab taken from ITV News of a man holding weapons by the scene in John Wilson Street, Woolwich where a man was found murdered.
Video grab taken from ITV News of a man holding weapons by the scene in John Wilson Street, Woolwich where a man was found murdered.
Video grab taken from ITV News of a man holding weapons by the scene in John Wilson Street, Woolwich where a man was found murdered.
Video grab taken from ITV News of a man holding weapons by the scene in John Wilson Street, Woolwich where a man was found murdered.
Police activity close to the scene where a man was murdered in John Wilson Street, Woolwich.Nick Ansell/PA Wire
The scene at Woolwich, pictured by @Yusuf_Kayalar/Twitter.
The scene at Woolwich, pictured by @Yusuf_Kayalar/Twitter.
The Royal Artillery Barracks near the scene in Woolwich, south London where a man was killed and two others were taken to hospital with gunshot wounds following a "serious incident" understood to have involved a serving soldier. Nick Ansell/PA Wir
The Royal Artillery Barracks near the scene in Woolwich, south London where a man was killed and two others were taken to hospital with gunshot wounds following a "serious incident" understood to have involved a serving soldier. Nick Ansell/PA Wire
The closed road on Artillery Place near the scene in Woolwich, south London where a man was killed and two others were taken to hospital with gunshot wounds following a "serious incident" understood to have involved a serving soldier. Nick Ansell/PA Wire
The closed road on Artillery Place near the scene in Woolwich, south London where a man was killed and two others were taken to hospital with gunshot wounds following a "serious incident" understood to have involved a serving soldier. Nick Ansell/PA Wire
The closed road on Artillery Place near the scene in Woolwich, south London where a man was killed and two others were taken to hospital with gunshot wounds following a "serious incident" understood to have involved a serving soldier. Nick Ansell/PA Wire
Police activity close to the scene where a man was murdered in John Wilson Street, Woolwich. Nick Ansell/PA Wire
The closed road on Artillery Place near the scene in Woolwich, south London where a man was killed and two others were taken to hospital with gunshot wounds following a "serious incident" understood to have involved a serving soldier. Nick Ansell/PA Wire
Police activity close to the scene where a man was murdered in John Wilson Street, Woolwich. Nick Ansell/PA Wire
Scenes of Crime Officers at the scene in Woolwich following a major incident in which a man was killed, on May 22, 2013 in London, England. It has been reported that the government and police are treating the attack in Woolwich on a serving soldier as a possible terrorist attack. Police have confirmed that one man has died after being attacked in the street by two men and firearms and knives were involved in the incident. (Photo by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)
A floral tribute close to the scene where a man was murdered in John Wilson Street, Woolwich. A major police operation was launched today after two suspected terrorists murdered a man in the street in broad daylight. Nick Ansell/PA Wire
Police activity near a crashed car (rear) with a broken windscreen close to the scene where a man was murdered in John Wilson Street, Woolwich. A major police operation was launched today after two suspected terrorists murdered a man in the street in broad daylight. Nick Ansell/PA Wire
Men lay a floral tribute close to the scene where a man was murdered in John Wilson Street, Woolwich. A major police operation was launched today after two suspected terrorists murdered a man in the street in broad daylight. Nick Ansell/PA Wire
Home Secretary Theresa May arrives for a COBRA security meeting in Downing Street on May 22, 2013 in London, England. It has been reported that the government and police are treating an attack in Woolwich on a serving soldier as a possible terrorist attack. Police have confirmed that one man has died after being attacked in the street by two men and that firearms and knives were involved in the incident. (Photo by Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images)
Scenes of Crime Officers at the scene in Woolwich following a major incident in which a man was killed, on May 22, 2013 in London, England. It has been reported that the government and police are treating the attack in Woolwich on a serving soldier as a possible terrorist attack. Police have confirmed that one man has died after being attacked in the street by two men and firearms and knives were involved in the incident. (Photo by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)
Police near to the scene in Woolwich following a major incident in which a man was killed, on May 22, 2013 in London, England. It has been reported that the government and police are treating the attack in Woolwich on a serving soldier as a possible terrorist attack. Police have confirmed that one man has died after being attacked in the street by two men and firearms and knives were involved in the incident. (Photo by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)
Police talk to local residents near to the scene in Woolwich, following a major incident in which a man was killed, on May 22, 2013 in London, England. It has been reported that the government and police are treating the attack in Woolwich on a serving soldier as a possible terrorist attack. Police have confirmed that one man has died after being attacked in the street by two men and firearms and knives were involved in the incident. (Photo by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)
A general view of Woolwich Barracks, near to the scene in Woolwich following a major incident in which a man was killed, on May 22, 2013 in London, England. It has been reported that the government and police are treating the attack in Woolwich on a serving soldier as a possible terrorist attack. Police have confirmed that one man has died after being attacked in the street by two men and firearms and knives were involved in the incident. (Photo by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)
Scenes of Crime Officers at the scene in Woolwich following a major incident in which a man was killed, on May 22, 2013 in London, England. It has been reported that the government and police are treating the attack in Woolwich on a serving soldier as a possible terrorist attack. Police have confirmed that one man has died after being attacked in the street by two men and firearms and knives were involved in the incident. (Photo by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)
The Royal Artillery Barracks near the scene in Woolwich, south London where a man was killed and two others were taken to hospital with gunshot wounds following a "serious incident" understood to have involved a serving soldier. Nick Ansell/PA Wire

Two men have been arrested after separate attacks on mosques following the terrorist incident in Woolwich.

A 43-year-old man is in custody on suspicion of attempted arson after reportedly walking into a mosque with a knife in Braintree, Essex.

Local MP Brooks Newmark tweeted last night: "Local mosque in Braintree attacked by man with knives and incendiary device. Man arrested. No one injured."

Mr Newmark added: "Just met with leaders of local mosque in Braintree which was attacked this evening. Thanked local police for their swift response."

Essex Police said a 43-year-old from Braintree was arrested on suspicion of possession of an offensive weapon and attempted arson after the incident in Silks Way at 7.15pm.

The spokesman added that police were investigating the "full circumstances" and said "it would not be appropriate to speculate at this time".

Meanwhile police in Kent were called to reports of criminal damage at a mosque in Canterbury Street, Gillingham, at 8.40pm.

A spokesman said a man is in custody on suspicion of racially-aggravated criminal damage. The force has stepped up the police presence after a man was butchered in broad daylight on the streets of London.

Supporters of the English Defence League (EDL) gathered at Woolwich Arsenal train station near the scene and threw bottles at police.

EDL leader Tommy Robinson, who was among a group of around 250 men, said: "They're chopping our soldiers' heads off. This is Islam. That's what we've seen today."

He added: "They've cut off one of our Army's heads off on the streets of London.

"Our next generation are being taught through schools that Islam is a religion of peace.

"It's not. It never has been. What you saw today is Islam.

"Everyone's had enough. There has to be a reaction, for the Government to listen, for the police to listen, to understand how angry this British public are."

The men then engaged in brief skirmishes with police across the large public square opposite the station.

The secretary of the mosque in Braintree, Sikander Saleemy, reportedly told Channel 4 News that he felt like it was a "revenge attack".

Mr Saleemy said: "The police said it's too early to try and link it to what happened in Woolwich, but those of us who were here feel that it was some sort of revenge attack. It was clear from the man's behaviour.

"We absolutely condemn what happened in Woolwich, but it had nothing to do with us.

"It was an appalling act of terror - but it wasn't "Islamic" in any way. I wish it wasn't described like that, because sadly people will now start to blame Muslims."

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