Bomb found outside Mosque

Counter-terror police have been drafted in to help with a major hate crime investigation after a small home-made bomb exploded near a mosque in Walsall.

Investigation 'continuing' into Walsall mosque bomb

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Our investigation is continuing this morning after a home-made explosive device was found outside a Walsall mosque. http://t.co/drwEpONTAD

West Midlands Police says its investigation is 'continuing' this morning after a home-made explosive device was found near a Walsall mosque.

Residents in the Caldmore area heard a loud bang on Friday.

Around 150 people had to be evacuated from their homes on Saturday night whilst the device was made safe.

Suspicious package was "home-made" bomb

Counter-terror police have been drafted in to help with a major hate crime investigation after a small home-made bomb exploded near a mosque in Walsall.

Around 150 people were evacuated from their homes in the Caldmore area of Walsall on Saturday night while bomb disposal experts made the device safe.

West Midlands Police said a loud bang heard by residents late on Friday "appeared to be consistent" with the device exploding. No one was injured and it caused minimal damage.

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Police are taking mosque device 'very seriously'

West Midlands Police said it is taking the home-made explosive device found at a Walsall mosque "very seriously" and that a "major investigation" is underway.

Assistant Chief Constable Sharon Rowe said she has called in support "from all over the force", including the West Midlands Counter Terrorism Unit.

Forensic officers search nearby the mosque Walsall where a hand-made explosive device was found.
Forensic officers search nearby the mosque Walsall where a hand-made explosive device was found. Credit: Matthew Cooper/PA Wire

She said: "At this stage we are keeping an open mind on a motive, but have recorded it as a hate crime.

"A hate crime is any criminal act committed against a person or property that is motivated by the offender’s hatred of people because of their gender, race, religion, disability or sexual orientation.

“If there is anyone who heard the bang on Friday evening, or saw suspicious activity on Friday or Saturday, who could help the investigation, I would urge them to come forward as soon as possible".

Police confirm Mosque package is a bomb

West Midlands Police has confirmed that the suspicious package found at a mosque in Walsall is a bomb.

The force is taking this attack against the mosque very seriously and we have a major investigation underway.

At this stage we are keeping an open mind on a motive, but have recorded it as a hate crime.

– Assistant Chief Constable Sharon Rowe, West Midlands Police
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Police: Item found by mosque 'made safe'

West Midlands Police have confirmed that an item found by a mosque in Walsall has been 'made safe' and is being examined by technical experts.

We have launched a full investigation into the suspicious item that has been found, and what's going to be the key to this is the public's help in relation to helping us to understand why that suspicious item was in the area.

Obviously there are going to be a number of hypotheses around this suspicious item, what I would ask is that we work with what we know at the moment. The investigation is at a very, very early stage.

Hypotheses which raise people's concern about what may or may not have happened would not be helpful at this stage. I would ask that we keep things in perspective.

– Superintendent Keith Fraser, the Head of Crime and Operations for Walsall Police

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Police treat suspicious item near mosque as hate crime

Bomb disposal experts were called to the mosque following the discovery of the suspicious item
Bomb disposal experts were called to the mosque following the discovery of the suspicious item Credit: ITV News

West Midland Police have confirmed they are treating the discovery of a suspicious item near a mosque in Walsall as a hate crime.

Superintendant Keith Fraser said "the incident was being treated as hate crime but the motive for placing the item near a mosque remained unclear".

Mosque evacuation witness: 'Loud blast heard'

On Friday night a car was spotted driving around the area - there was a loud blast so one of the neighbours came out to look but couldn't see anything and so went back inside.

On Saturday between 1.30pm and 2pm another man was walking into the mosque and saw something so he picked it up and took it inside and when the Imam came later he called the police at 10.30pm.

– Local resident

Police still waiting to identify Walsall mosque package

The item is currently being examined and we are still waiting to identify exactly what it is that we have found.

It was our first priority to make sure the area was safe early on and evacuated homes on a purely precautionary measure.

We will open the mosque up later to reassure residents and allow worshippers to return.

We're not in the dark we have trained people looking at this item be we don't know what it is yet - I can understand the concern from the community who want to know what it is.

It's a shock to the local community and the force is treating this very, very seriously.

– Superintendent Keith Fraser, West Midlands Police
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