A 29-year-old man has been arrested on suspicion of attempted murder and is currently in custody following a horrific stabbing on a 14-year-old boy outside a Mosque in Birmingham.
The young boy is still fighting for his life and Mosque leaders have said he could be left paralysed on one side of his body after the attack.
He was attacked around 1am today as his horrified father and brother looked on just moments after they dropped him off outside the Idara Maarif-e-Islam Hussainia Mosque in Herbert Road, in Small Heath, Birmingham.
Members of the Mosque have claimed the stabbing was an ‘ISIS-inspired’ targeted attack because the teenager was a Shia.
The founding member of the Shia mosque, who asked not to be named, said: ‘There is no doubt that this was a targeted attack.
‘The victim might have been random, but in my mind it is clear that these people are from Daesh, and wanted to kill a Shia Muslim based on the belief that they would go to heaven.’
Another man, who claimed to be an uncle of the victim, posted a video on social media claiming the attack followed an earlier altercation between Shia worshippers and a group of ‘Salafi’ men.
He said: ‘The attackers slashed his throat, stabbed him twice in the face and stabbed him in the arms’
‘Yesterday evening before this incident took place, approximately about ten Salafi Wahabi boys entered out Mosque and they were recording out lamentation’
‘I approached them… to ask them not to record.’
‘They were rather defiant so we asked them to leave out premises.’
Witnesses at the scene told the Birmingham Mail the teenager was stabbed after being dropped off at the mosque by his father for part of a special 10-day event.
The venue was busy with people despite the late hour as worshippers celebrated the Muharram – the start of the Islamic Holy Year – and the victim’s brother ‘saw it all’
One witness told the newspaper: ‘His brother saw it all and was screaming to his dad to come and help.’
Azhar Kiana told the newspaper: ‘It happened on the pavement. By the time, the dad parked his car, his son was on the floor.
‘There was a young man who was brutally beating the boy with a knife.
‘There was blood everywhere, he was hitting the boy’s neck and head. Then the attacker ran off and got into a car.’
The mosque leader, who has been associated with Shia Muslim centre near Birmingham City FC’s stadium for over 40 years, added: ‘As far as I have been told he is completely paralysed on one side of his body, but is in a stable but critical condition.
‘We just have to hope and pray that he pulls through and is not seriously injured.
‘He was also stabbed in both cheeks, as they tussled on the ground.
‘There would have been around 300 people here last night, but I’m not sure how many people witnessed it.
‘There is no way it was a random act, as the attacker was in a car with other people.
‘He got out, attacked this boy and then got back into the car, which drove away as people tried to chase it down.
‘We have been holding the festival for the last ten days or so, and they would have wanted to make some sort of mark.
‘The West thinks the animosity with Daesh is a new thing, but we’ve been dealing with this for 1,400 years.
‘We haven’t had an incident like this here before, but I’m not surprised that it has happened at all, because it is the way that the world is just now.’
Detective Inspector Jim Colclough from the complex crime investigation team at Bournville Lane police station said: ‘Our investigation is progressing quickly but it is still in the early stages.
‘We do not believe it to be terror-related. The motivation for the attack is not yet known, we are keeping an open mind as to whether it could be racially or religiously motivated.
‘We are working closely with local communities and have increased our local police presence in the area to provide reassurance and be on hand to answer any questions or concerns that people may have.
‘It is tragic event which has left a young boy in hospital fighting for his life.
‘We’ve spoken to a number of witnesses but would continue to urge anyone who was in the area and saw what happened, or has any other information which may help our investigation to contact me or my team on 101 or to call Crimestoppers as soon as possible.’
The teenager was allegedly taken to Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham, but will soon be transferred to Birmingham Children’s Hospital.