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Last Updated: Wednesday, 16 August 2006, 10:22 GMT 11:22 UK
Racist threat before mosque arson
Albirr Masjid Mosque
About 16 firefighters tackled the blaze at the Albirr Masjid Mosque
Police investigating an arson attack on a mosque are looking into threats made to occupants of a nearby property.

Three hours before the Albirr Mosque was set alight on Saturday, a man tried to force his way into a property in Goat Lane, Basingstoke.

Hampshire police said the man made racist and religious remarks to those inside and references to recent anti-terror arrests in London.

Detectives are "keeping an open mind" about the two events being connected.

Assistant Chief Constable Steve Watts had already said the possibility of the arson attack on the mosque in Sarum Hill being related to the recent security threat cannot be ruled out.

The blaze occurred in the roof of the mosque and police believe the perpetrator, who has not been found, may have received burns.

Det Con Kerrie Harman said: "We're keeping an open mind as to whether these two offences are linked but it is a line of enquiry we are actively investigating.

"We are particularly keen to trace two women who were walking towards the man at the time of the incident and may have a good description of the offender."


SEE ALSO
Mosque arsonist could be injured
15 Aug 06 |  Hampshire
Police investigate mosque blaze
12 Aug 06 |  Hampshire

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