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London Mosque Targeted In Suspected Arson Attack

The Metropolitan police are appealing for information following the incident, which they are treating as a hate crime.

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buzzfeed-video1.s3.amazonaws.com / Via Metropolitan Police

Scotland Yard is appealing for information following a failed attempt to set fire to a north London mosque on Friday night.

CCTV footage showed a man approaching the Finsbury Park Mosque around 8:30pm on 27 November holding a bag containing a jerrycan filled with petrol.

Police were called the next morning after the suspect was spotted again acting suspiciously and attempting to set the building alight.

The suspect, who was described as a white male and was last seen wearing a white hooded top, fled the scene on a moped.

Mohammed Kozbar, chairman of the Finsbury Park Mosque, told the BBC that when he came to open the mosque on Saturday morning he discovered a gallon of fuel outside the building and some burnt paper. He believes that the paper failed to catch fire because it was raining outside.

"Our security found a gallon of fuel outside and some half-burned papers," said Kozbar. "Thankfully, the floor was wet as it had been raining and the fuel did not catch light."

"Scorch marks were found on clothing wrapped around the jerrycan. This was a clear and deliberate attempt to cause arson," Detective Sergeant Stuart Smillie, the investigating officer from Islington Borough said. "Although the petrol did not fully ignite, the threat and intent was obvious and the resulting fire could quite easily have endangered anyone inside as well as those living nearby. "

Kozbar said that the mosque committee had received a letter in the past week informing them the building was under threat of an attack. However, he is not sure whether the two incidents are related, the BBC reported.

A statement released on the Finsbury Park Mosque’s website said that there was no damage to the building, and no one was injured.



"… Someone tried to burn the Mosque by throwing a Molotov bottle. Alhamdulillah it did not explode and no one got hurt and no damage was done.

"We have expressed our deepest concerns to the police and hope they will take this attack very seriously. We hope they find out who is behind this grave incident and catch the perpetrators.

"We would like to assure our community in Islington that such crime has no place within our society and we are determined more than ever to promote community cohesion and harmony.

The Metropolitan police have urged anyone with information about the incident to come forward.

Fiona Rutherford is a reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in London.

Contact Fiona Rutherford at fiona.rutherford@buzzfeed.com.

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