£5,000 reward for information on arson attack that destroyed The Somalian Islamic Bravanese Welfare Association in Muswell Hill


The scene following the blaze at the Somalian Islamic Bravanese Welfare Association in Muswell Hill

Police are offering a £5,000 reward for information on an arson attack that destroyed an Islamic community centre two years ago.

The Somalian Islamic Bravanese Welfare Association in Coppetts Road, Muswell Hill, was burnt to the ground on June 5, 2013.

Investigators found graffiti reading ‘EDL’ – the initials of far-right anti-Islamist group the English Defence League – on the remains of the building, and officers are treating the incident as a hate crime.

The discovery prompted speculation that the fire was a revenge attack on the Muslim community in the wake of the murder of Drummer Lee Rigby in Woolwich in May 2013.

The Metropolitan Police is offering a reward of up to £5,000 for information leading to the identification, arrest and prosecution of those responsible.

Officers are also releasing a CCTV image of a light-coloured Toyota Corolla Verso vehicle, which was seen in very close proximity to the centre immediately before the time of the incident.

They are keen to identify and trace either the driver, the owner or anyone with information about the vehicle.


Police are keen to trace the driver, owner or anyone with information about this car

Officers will also be handing out appeal leaflets in the area surrounding the community centre today.

The Met’s Counter-Terrorism Command is leading the investigation, and detectives continue to appeal for anyone with information to get in touch.

They would like to hear from anyone who was near Coppetts Road at the time, or who may have any information regarding the fire.

Superintendent Paula Light from Barnet Police said: “I have been amazed by the calm resolve and positivity that the communities in Barnet have shown in the wake of this incident. The support that people from all different communities, including Jewish, Christian and Muslim communities, have shown each other in the face of such adversity has been truly remarkable.

“We are still determined to identify the person or persons responsible for this act, and I would urge anybody with information to call the incident room or to contact Crimestoppers, which is completely anonymous – it is not too late.”

Anyone with information can call police on 020 7230 3046, or contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

No arrests have been made at this stage.

From the Muswell Hill Times . 05.06.15. Report by James Caven.


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