Wednesday, July 28, 2010
Bogus reports of danger to Bournemouth Mosque
Corfe Castle is a picturesque village a few miles from here named after the 1000-year old castle that was demolished during the English civil war. The ruins belong to the National Trust and are a popular tourist spot.
Armed police opened fire during an operation to arrest a member of the controversial English Defence League, who were feared to be masterminding an attack at a Bournemouth mosque. Marksmen shot the tyres out on a van belonging to John Broomfield, head of the Dorset EDL, as he drove alone through Corfe Castle.
He and six others were arrested on suspicion of conspiracy to cause an explosion at a Bournemouth mosque. All seven, including at least six EDL members, have since been released without charge.
Armed officers pounced from an unmarked car close to the Norden roundabout as 27-year-old Mr Broomfield, from Swanage, drove home from work around 5pm. They used special rapid tyre deflation rounds, fired from a shotgun, to disable his vehicle.
Officers, including specialised forensic experts, then swooped on his Bell Street home, removing clothes, computer equipment, mobile phones and passports. The suspects were held at Poole police station and a police station in Southampton, following last Thursday’s arrests.
The English Defence League is a contentious group that has been leading “anti-Muslim extremism” demonstrations around England since 2009. They represent one end of a spectrum of young tearaways who enjoy confrontational demonstrations. At a demonstration in Luton last year there were clashes between the EDL and members of the far-left Anti-Fascist League and Socialist Workers Party. Many of those attending were not EDL members but just skinheads looking for a brawl. As in all such events racist and Islamophobic chanting was in evidence. EDL has never been involved in anything of a terrorist nature.
EDL organisers insist it is not a racist organisation.
In a statement to the Bournemouth Daily Echo, Mr Broomfield said: “While travelling home from work I was stopped and arrested by armed police. I was arrested on suspicion of conspiracy to cause an explosion at a Bournemouth mosque. Five other members of the EDL were also arrested and held for 24 hours for questioning while searches of their homes took place. Then all of us were released without charge.
“There has been no conspiracy. There has never been any conspiracy. The EDL is not a terrorist organisation.”
A spokesman for Dorset Police said: “Dorset Police can confirm that as part of an investigation surrounding threats to a Bournemouth mosque a total of seven people were arrested for conspiracy to cause an explosion. Following an investigation police can now confirm these people have been released without charge. We can also confirm that one of the people arrested was detained safely by armed officers in the Corfe Castle area. We’ve been working very closely with the Muslim community since last Thursday and our local safer neighbourhood teams have been providing advice and reassurance throughout. At this stage there is no indication whatsoever that any of the mosques in Dorset are under threat of attack.”
So there we have it. Armed police attack an innocent citizen because of faulty intelligence. This is not the first time and it shows why the coalition government is so keen to reign in the Big Brother tendency