It turns out that the murderer of Jalal Uddin was not an “Islamophobe,” as had originally been thought, but a supporter of the Islamic State who opposed Jalal Uddin’s “efforts to turn youngsters away from radical Islam.”
Anti-terror police have been called in to investigate the murder of Rochdale imam Jalal Uddin.
The investigation into Mr Uddin’s death has been escalated after the discovery of material linked to the Islamic State terror group during a series of raids last week.
One line of inquiry is that Mr Uddin was targeted because he had made efforts to turn youngsters away from radical Islam.
Mr Uddin, 64, was attacked as he walked through a children’s park last month.
He was taken to hospital but died later.
Mr Uddin had been to evening prayers at the Bilal Jamia Masjid Mosque.
He was on his way to visit a friend when the attack happened close to South Street in the Wardleworth area of the town on February 18.
A post mortem examination revealed he died from a head injury.
Detectives investigating the death raided three properties last week, and so far three people have been arrested.
But the discovery of material connected to the so-called Islamic State terror group prompted Greater Manchester Police to call in counter terrorism experts, who are now leading the inquiry.
Detectives are now examining the material, which includes digital media thought to have been found on computers or smartphones.
The investigation is being led by the North West Counter Terrorism Unit assisted by detectives from GMP’s Major Incident Team.
A GMP statement said: “The investigation into the murder of Jalal Uddin is now being led by the North West Counter Terrorism Unit in co-operation with officers from the Greater Manchester Police Serious Crime Division.
“Whilst the investigation is yet to establish a firm motive for the murder, the NWCTU are better placed to provide the expertise necessary to successfully investigate this crime and any associated offences.
“The investigation team continues to remain open as to the reasons why this tragic incident occurred but we are continuously reviewing the evidence to establish whether this killing was motivated by hate or religious extremism.”…