Counter-terror police investigating far-right hate mail campaign targeting mosques in UK and US

Counter-terror police are hunting a suspected far-right extremist sending hate mail and suspicious packages to mosques and political targets in the UK and US.

Three mosques in London are the latest to receive malicious letters from the unknown individual or group as part of what a monitoring group believes is a “structured” transatlantic campaign.

One letter seen by The Independent threatened to bomb Forest Gate Mosque “very soon… when there are plenty of Muslims”, while the sender told another mosque in east London they would “make you vermin pay” and a third letter received in Hackney called for the capital to be “cleansed”.

All bear a postmark from the same sorting office in Sheffield and share striking similarities with handwriting and content, including a symbol repeatedly used as a signature by the anonymous sender.

Tell Mama, which records Islamophobic hate crimes in Britain, said the letters appeared to be part of the same campaign that targeted three other mosques in the UK last year and others in the US.

Steve Rose, who has been documenting the phenomenon for the charity, said three mosques in Tottenham, Leyton and Finsbury Park received envelopes scrawled with abuse and containing white powder in July 2016.

“What was interesting was the relative proximity of these mosques,” he added.

“It seems whoever it is is targeting geographic areas of London and might have targeted a mosque in Rotherham as well.”

On the same day as letters arrived at London mosques last year, a security alert was sparked at Parliament when Muslim peer Lord Ahmed received a package containing white powder and a racist note, and similar envelopes arrived at the Bank of England and a Government mail screening service in Newham.

An investigation by specialist chemical units of the Metropolitan Police found that the substance was “not noxious or suspicious”.

The campaign spread to the US in February this year, when the Dar…

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