A suspect taken into custody over an attack against an elderly Muslim man in Birmingham has also been linked to a similar attack in London, say police.

Police have also revealed the name of the Birmingham grandfather who was set on fire during the horrific incident and ended up in hospital with life-altering injuries.

The Metropolitan Police stated that the appalling attack in the Edgbaston area of Birmingham, which resulted in 70-year-old Mohammed Rayaz being set alight as he walked home from his local mosque, is linked to a similar attack in the Ealing area of London which took place in February.

In the London attack an 82-year-old worshipper was set on fire after he left the West London Islamic Centre in Singapore Road on 27 February around 8pm. Prior to the attack the victim was approached by the perpetrator who tried to engage him in dialogue before pouring some inflammable liquid on the elderly victim and setting him alight. The same modus operandi was employed in the Birmingham attack.

The suspect who was taken into custody by Counter Terrorism Police in Birmingham has now been arrested on suspicion of two counts of attempted murder in relation to both the Birmingham and London attacks.

Retired factory worker Mohammed Rayaz received life-altering injuries in the horrific attackHandout
Retired factory worker Mohammed Rayaz received life-altering injuries in the horrific attack

Officers from West Midlands Police are working with The Met to establish the background to the two attacks against Muslim worshippers.

Victim Mohammed Rayaz was only yards away from his home in Shenstone Road when the shocking attack took place at around 7pm on Monday (20 March). The nightmarish incident has left the victim traumatised and severely injured.

A day after the cowardly attack the burnt remains, of Mr Rayaz’s coat could still be seen stuck to the pavement.

Mr Rayaz, a retired factory worker who sometimes led prayers at the Dudley Road Mosque, received severe burns to his hand, chest and face. He remains in hospital and his family have asked for prayers of healing as the holy month of Ramadan begins.

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