Fears of race hate attacks in wake of Manchester concert massacre as arsonists hit mosque just hours after suicide bombing

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Arsonists have burnt down a door at a mosque in Greater Manchester in a suspected race hate ‘retaliatory’ attack following Monday night’s bombing.

The door at Jamia Qasmia Zahidia Islamic Centre on Villa Road, Oldham, was set alight at around 2am according to its imam, Mohammad Saddiq.

Mr Saddiq, 60, said: ‘Last night at around 2am somebody has started a fire through our letterbox. The door is completely burnt down.

‘Very soon after a member of the public was walking past and called the fire brigade. Thankfully nobody was inside at the time.

‘We have no idea why somebody would target us. We are a religious and educational centre. I’ve been involved her for three years and never dealt with anything like this.

‘People are upset. The police are looking at CCTV and investigators were here this morning. We’ll definitely need a new door.

‘There’s a possibility that it’s a retaliation to what happened in Manchester last night but we can’t confirm that.

‘It’s sad to see more misery in Manchester. What happened last night was terrible but this is not the way to respond.’

GMP and Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service have been contacted for comment.

At least 22 people were killed after explosions rang out at the end of an Ariana Grande gig in Manchester Arena on Monday night, injuring 119.

A 23-year-old man was arrested by anti-terror officers in the south of the city as police and security services attempt to work out if the suicide bomber was part of a cell. Security sources have told MailOnline that initial analysis of the ‘sophisticated’ device suggests it was made by an expert.

Meanwhile, cops were on patrol outside Glasgow’s Central Mosque after the building’s outside wall was vandalised with a vile graffiti featuring the word ‘ISIS’ enclosed in a love heart.

But cops believe the graffiti has been there since the weekend.

Chief Constable Phil Gormley said: ‘My thoughts and those of everyone at Police Scotland are with those who have lost loved ones or who were injured in the attack in Manchester.

‘As part of the UK-wide response to these events, Police Scotland continues to review all safety and security plans and operations.

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‘This includes ensuring our armed policing and specialist resources are appropriately deployed.

‘People will, therefore, see armed police on patrol at transport hubs and crowded places.

‘There is no intelligence to suggest there is any threat to Scotland but I would ask the public to remain alert and report anything suspicious.

‘We continue to liaise with the UK authorities in response to this incident.’

Relating to the graffiti, a spokesman for Police Scotland added: ‘We were made aware of an incident reported to us on Saturday 20th May.

‘Enquiries are currently continuing.’

A spokesman for Glasgow City Council said: ‘We became aware of the graffiti this morning and sent a team to remove it immediately.

SOPHIE INGE

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