Police probe 'possible links' between fireball attacks on men near mosques in Birmingham and London

  • Chief Superintendent Richard North from West Midlands Police says investigators 'made connections very quickly' between the Birmingham attack and an attack last month in London

A second elderly Muslim has been set on fire as he walked home from a mosque, prompting an investigation by counter-terror police.

Police in Birmingham say they're investigating possible links between an attack in the city where a man was set on fire as he walked home from a mosque, and a similar attack in Ealing, London.

A man has been arrested on suspicion of attempted murder after a worshipper was set alight in Shenstone Road in Edgbaston, Birmingham, at around 7pm on Monday.

The attacker spoke to him briefly before spraying with an unknown substance and then his jacket was set alight, causing burns to his face.

He was taken to hospital with serious injuries which are not believed to be life threatening.

A man was set alight as he walked home from a mosque in Edgbaston, Birmingham Credit: DOUS / BPM Media

West Midlands Police confirmed this afternoon (Tuesday 21 March) it is working closely with the Metropolitan Police to establish any possible connections between this attack and one of a similar nature which happened in London last month.

The Met said an 82-year-old man was set alight on Singapore Road in Ealing on February 27 as the suspect and victim both left the West London Islamic Centre.

In an interview with ITV News Central, Chief Superintendent Richard North, from West Midlands Police, said after the Birmingham attack that the force "very quickly made the connection" to the attack which happened in London.

He adds: "We're working closely with the Metropolitan Police to establish to what extent those two incidents are linked."

Police in Birmingham say they're taking the incident "extremely seriously" and have confirmed that counter-terrorism police are involved in the ongoing investigation.

The force said it doesn't yet know what the motivation was behind the attack.