An update on this story. "Radical Islamic clerics warn of further attacks after publisher is firebombed," by John Bingham for the Telegraph, September 28:
Hardline clerics said that further attacks would be "inevitable" if publication of the novel, The Jewel of Medina, goes ahead as planned next month.
Police moved in to arrest three men moments after a fire broke out at the London home and office of Martin Rynja in the early hours of Saturday.
The attack came days after Mr Rynja's company, Gibson Square, bought the rights to the book by the American writer Sherry Jones, which has already been likened to Sir Salman Rushdie's The Satanic Verses.
The novel, which focuses on the relationship between Mohammed and his child bride Aisha, was recently dropped from publication in the United States by the publishers Random House amid fears that it would anger Muslims.
Mr Rynja, who is described by friends as "taking on projects where others fear to tread" has published several books by controversial authors including Alexander Litvinenko, the former Russian spy who was poisoned in London after becoming an outspoken critic of the country's prime minister and former president Vladimir Putin.
Buying the British and Commonwealth rights to the Sherry Jones novel last week, Mr Rynja described it as a "moving love story".
But the radical cleric Anjem Choudhary said the book was an insult to the Prophet Mohammed's honour, something he said would warrant a "death penalty" under Sharia law.
The attack on Mr Rynja's home in Lonsdale Square, Islington, north London, came in the early hours of Saturday morning.
Armed police accompanied by firemen broke down the door of the house after flames and smoke were seen.
It is believed officers had been expecting the attack and quickly moved in to arrest two men at the scene while a third was stopped at a nearby London Underground station.
The three men, aged 40, 30 and 22, were being questioned on suspicion of the commission, preparation or instigation of acts of terrorism last night.
The EastEnders actress Brooke Kinsella whose 16-year-old brother Ben was stabbed to death earlier this year, lives in the square and was among those evacuated by police as part of the operation.
Other neighbours spoke of their terror at being awoken to see armed police in the square but praised the operation as professional.
But the radical cleric Anjem Choudhary, who lives in Ilford, east London, said he was "not surprised at all" by the attack and warned of possible further reprisals over the book.
"It is clearly stipulated in Muslim law that any kind of attack on his honour carries the death penalty," he said.
"People should be aware of the consequences they might face when producing material like this. They should know the depth of feeling it might provoke."
He denied any involvement in the attack but said he "understood" the feelings of the perpetrators.
"If the publication goes ahead then I think, inevitably, there will be more attacks like this - this is the thin of the wedge," he said.
Speaking from Lebanon, the radical cleric Omar Bakri, added: "If anybody attacks that man I cannot myself condemn it."
Sir Salman, who was made the subject of a fatwa by the Iranian leader Ayatolla Khomeini ordering his death in 1989 for publishing a "blasphemous" book, has spoken out in defence of The Jewel of Medina and suggested Random House had allowed itself to be intimidated.
Police were granted a warrant to continue holding the three men until Saturday at a brief hearing at City of Westminster Magistrates’ Court on Sunday.