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Hoax Packages Threaten London’s Mosques | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Police officers at the Islamic Center (Asharq Al-Awsat)

London – Workers at the Islamic center in London lived moments of terror when they received a mail package threatening them with a biological attack.

On Tuesday last week about 11:00 AM a regular mail was sent to the Islamic center in London and was sent to an employee on the third floor who opened it and found a message threatening who ever touches the paper will die within the following 48 hours.

An official at the center said the message said: “The Christ Cleanse of London has begun. If you touch this letter full of microbes, you will die in 48 hours.”

He told Asharq Al-Awsat newspaper that he called the police station after he isolated the letter in a separate room.
A short while later, the police called and inform them that a special unit will be sent and asked them to close all windows and doors and to shut down the air conditioner.

North-East Counter-terrorism Unit confirmed to Asharq Al-Awsat that they received calls about the letter and investigated the matter.

Then, at 3:00 PM the first police unit arrived and two investigators began their questioning. The official at the center said that they were instructed not to allow anyone in or out of the third floor until the special unit arrives.

The special unit arrived at around 3:30 accompanied by an ambulance. Almost seven minutes later a high officer came to the center and investigated the matter. It was until 3:42 that everyone was relieved when a specialist came out and informed them that the letter was in fact not dangerous and free of any viruses, chemicals or radiations.

Officers began their official investigation with all office employees to gather all necessary information.

North-East Counter-terrorism Unit confirmed they received several calls concerning suspected packages. Specialist officers attended these addresses and the contents of the packages were examined. In all cases, the substances were found not to be noxious or harmful.

The unit stated that these incidents are now subject to an investigation coordinated by the north east counter terrorism unit with ongoing inquiries to identify the origin.

“We are looking into the possibility that the communications are linked to a number of suspicious packages and malicious communications reported at locations in London, South Yorkshire and America and are part of an ongoing investigation,” added Counter-terrorism Unit.

TellMAMA an independent, non-governmental organization which works on tackling anti-Muslim hatred, stated that between May 2013 and June 2017, 167 mosques in the UK were targeted in anti-Muslim incidents and attacks.

TellMAMA which stands for Measuring Anti-Muslim Attacks is a secure and reliable service that allows people from across England to report any form of Anti-Muslim abuse.

NewStatesman reported the organization stating that an average of one incident against a mosque happens every week.

This all happens with a 23 per cent rise in religious and race-related hate crimes in the 11 months following the Brexit vote, according to figures from police forces released after a Freedom of Information request.