COUNTER terrorism police searching Wolverhampton central mosque have found a “seat of an explosion” and debris.
The find was made late last night (Thursday 18 July) by officers and army bomb disposal experts as they searched land in and around the building on Waterloo Road.
The debris, found on Fiveways roundabout, has been declared safe and further detailed forensic enquiries will be conducted at the scene throughout the day.
Nothing was found at the mosque itself which has now been re-opened for worship.
The searches were initiated following the arrest of two men in Small Heath yesterday who are suspected of involvement in explosions near mosques in Walsall and Tipton.
Officers remain at the mosque and patrols in the area have been increased to reassure members of the public concerned by events.
Assistant Chief Constable Marcus Beale, who is leading the investigation, said: “Officers searching the area have found the seat of an explosion and debris on the island near the mosque.
“The investigation is being led by specialist officers and staff from our Counter Terrorism Unit who are being supported by a range of departments from across the force.
“We recognise the impact news of the latest find will have on the communities of Wolverhampton and further afield. We’re working hard to complete our enquiries so that the area can be returned to normality.”
While the investigation is in its very early stages, early indications are that the explosion happened on Friday 28 June. Police are now appealing for witnesses.
“We are keen to hear from people who may have seen anyone acting suspiciously on or near to the roundabout on the night of the 27 or the morning of 28 June,” said ACC Beale.
“Whether people feel the information is important or not, I would urge them to contact us so that we can assess that information.”
Two Ukrainian men, aged 25 and 22, arrested last night as part of the ongoing investigation into explosions near to mosques in Tipton and Walsall, remain in police custody. The pair were arrested on suspicion of being involved in the commission, preparation or instigation of an act of terrorism (under the Terrorism Act 2000).
Anyone with information which may help detectives with the ongoing major investigation should call police on 101 or the independent crime fighting charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.
The national Anti-Terrorist Hotline can be contacted on:0800 789 321.