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Man is arrested over imam murder

A man has been arrested on suspicion of conspiracy to murder a Syrian-born preacher found shot dead in his car.

Abdul-Hadi Arwani, a critic of the Assad regime, was found dead in a parked car in Wembley, north London, on Tuesday morning.

Counter-terrorism detectives have taken over responsibility for the investigation into the death of the father of six, who died from gunshot wounds.

The 46-year-old man was arrested last night in Brent, north-west London, and is in custody at a central London police station.

The Metropolitan Police is keen to speak to anyone who may have seen Mr Arwani or his car, a dark coloured Volkswagen Passat, on Sunday April 5 or Tuesday April 7.

Detectives from the Counter Terrorism Command (SO15) have discovered that Mr Arwani, 48, had driven near to where his body was found on the morning of Sunday, April 5, and parked in Havenwood, where he remained for a short while.

The force said officers were "open-minded" about the motive of the killing.

In an appeal for information, Mr Arwani's son Morhaf, 20, said: "The police are currently investigating this brutal murder. As an individual, a family and a community, we are helping the police to solve this heinous crime.

"Any information we have has, and will be passed on to them and we urge anyone with any information to please, please, please do the same.

"To members of the public that knew my late father and even those of you who didn't know him, please tell us what you know. We know that it won't bring our father back to us but it may help to deliver justice to those who killed him."

Mr Arwani was an imam at the An Noor mosque in Acton, west London, from 2005 to 2011.

He is thought to have fled Syria as a teenager after surviving the Hama massacre in 1982 and has been described as an outspoken critic of President Bashar Assad's regime.

He is believed to have attended protests against the regime outside the Syrian embassy in London in 2012.

A post-mortem examination found the cause of death to be gunshot wounds. An inquest is to be opened and adjourned at Barnet Coroners Court in the coming days.


From Belfast Telegraph