Community leader brands anti-terrorism searches a ‘witch hunt’

Arif Syed (Pic by Jon Rigby)
Arif Syed (Pic by Jon Rigby)

A community leader says Muslim people feel they are the victim of a “witch hunt” after a series of anti-terrorism police searches in Crawley.

Arif Syed, chairman of Broadfield Mosque, said: “I personally feel - and the community feel - they are searching houses for a witch hunt.”

A house in Martyrs Avenue, Langley Green, was searched yesterday as part of an investigation into 41-year-old Abdul Waheed Majid, who is believed to have carried out a suicide bombing in Aleppo, Syria.

Three more houses have since been searched.

Mr Syed said: “It is as if you and me has been seen with Mr Majeed you are therefore connected.

“It is outrageous after all the work we have done to eradicate extremism in our communities for 12 years that hotels are not provided instead of asking the community to accommodate people whose homes are being raided.”

He added: “I know the family of Mr Majeed very well, his uncle is a colleague of mine for nine years.

“They are worried and praying he comes home safely in one piece.”

District Commander for Crawley, Chief Inspector Justina Beeken said: “The enquiries by the South East Counter Terrorism Unit are on-going and we are closely liaising with them and the community in the town.”