Search continues for man behind Finsbury Park Mosque attack

Police want to talk to this man over an attempted arson at Finsbury Park Mosque

Police want to talk to this man over an attempted arson at Finsbury Park Mosque - Credit: Archant

Residents in Hackney are urged to come forward and help police find the man responsible for the attempted arson attack on one of the UK’s largest mosques.

The Finsbury Park mosque

The Finsbury Park mosque - Credit: Archant

On November 27, a man attempted to set alight a jerrycan full of petrol before hurling it into the Finsbury Park Mosque compound on St Thomas’s Road.

However, the can failed to fully ignite due to the wet weather and the man fled.

The attack has been labelled an Islamophobic hate crime by police and is just one of many following the terrorist attacks in Paris last month.

London has since seen a spike in these hate crimes with the Metropolitan Police recording 46 incidents in the week after and 76 two weeks after.

These figures provide a stark comparison to the 24 hate crime incidents recorded the week before the Paris attacks.

Mosque leaders have raised concerns that the perpetrator of the Finsbury Park attacks has still not been found three weeks after.

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However, Metropolitan Police Commissioner Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe has tried to allay fears by insisting the police have not given up on solving the case.

Speaking at a London Assembly meeting yesterday, he said: “We have made a serious investigation into this crime as arson is a serious thing and an attack on a mosque which we treat as a hate crime is also serious.

“As you may have seen, we released CCTV images of the person who is a suspect but as yet we have not identified them.

“We have increased our patrolling in the area and we would consider a permanent patrol if deemed necessary but after communication with the mosque, it probably isn’t necessary at this time.

“We are doing our best to resolve the case and I won’t be happy until we have but at the moment we do not have enough leads to go and arrest someone.”

Jennette Arnold OBE, London Assembly member for Hackney, Islington and Waltham Forest hopes people still come forward with information on the suspect.

She said: “The case is ongoing and there is still a call for more evidence so it’s important that anyone in the community who saw or heard anything on the night of November 27 let the police know.

“It is disappointing that we are three weeks after the attack and no one has been found but the police will continue to look for the perpetrator and hopefully an arrest will be made.

“Finsbury Park mosque is a well known and highly valued religious building which needs protecting.”