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article imageLondon mosque torched in 'hate crime' fire

By Eko Armunanto     Jun 5, 2013 in World
Counter-terrorism officers are investigating a suspicious fire at a Somali community center in north London where graffiti spelling out the name of a far-right group was left on the building. Police say graffiti reading EDL was found on the building.
Police say the fire caused extensive damage to the community center, and graffiti reading "EDL", the anti-immigrant English Defense League, was found on the building. The incident came amid fears that the fire might have been started in retaliation for the killing of Drummer Lee Rigby in Woolwich last month, says Daily Mail.
Six fire engines and around 35 firefighters tackled the blaze at the Somali Bravanese Welfare Association which started in the early hours of today. English Defense League leader Tommy Robinson this afternoon said he was 'skeptical' about whether the EDL were involved - but he has not yet condemned the attack.
Mosques and Islamic centers in London have been on high alert after several were attacked following the slaying of a British soldier last month. CBS News says an organization which monitors religious-based violence in Britain said 11 mosques were attacked in the days after the brutal murder of Army Drummer Lee Rigby. The two men accused in his killing are Muslim extremists who were known to British authorities before the murder.
As reported by BBC, MP Theresa Villiers said "This kind of hate crime is absolutely despicable." The Conservative MP for Chipping Barnet said "This is not just an attack on the Muslim community it is an attack on all of us and our values.
"We are a highly diverse multi-ethnic borough with excellent community cohesion in Barnet. We should under no circumstances allow violent extremists to divide us with this kind of outrage."
There is concern that the attack could be motivated by a need for vengeance among the radical right in the wake of the Woolwhich attacks. The attack occurred around two weeks ago when two men attacked a British soldier on the street and hacked him to death with machetes. The attack was declared an act of terror because the two assailants claimed their motive was retribution for the British army's presence in the Middle East. The attack has sparked a large backlash from the EDL and other racist, Islamophobic, and anti-immigrant groups.
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