An-Noor Director Charged With Possession of Explosives

Arwani murder investigation holds Khalid Rashad brother of former Boney M member

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Police have stepped up patrols around the An-Noor Cultural and Community Centre in Acton following a director of the centre being charged with possession of explosives and ammunition.

Khalid Rashad of Monks Park Drive, Wembley, was charged on Friday, 24 April with possession of an explosive substance for an unlawful purpose and possession of ammunition for a firearm without a certificate. He has been remanded in custody and appears at Camberwell Green Magistrates' Court today (Saturday, 25 April).

He was charged by officers from the Met's Counter Terrorism Command (SO15) investigating the murder of Abdulhadi Arwani in Wembley on Tuesday, 7 April. Mr Arwani used to be an Iman at the An-Noor centre on Crown Street until 2011.

The police say that Mr Arwani's family have been informed of the charges and that they continue to maintain 'good contact' with the members of An Noor. They are continuing to monitor community reaction and a reassurance patrol plan is in place around the An Noor and local area. The centre has been closed since Thursday when the police entered to search the premises. They now say they have completed their search

Mr Rashad, is a former builder of Jamaican descent who was born Burnell 'Bernie' Mitchell. He is the brother of Liz Mitchell, who was a member of Boney M who had a string of hits in the seventies. He changed his name when he converted to Islam.

A statement on the centre's Facebook page says, "We ask the community to stay united and steadfast during these difficult times. We ask Allah to grant Brother Khalid and his wife a speedy release and victory Ameen. We also ask Allah to bless them both, their family and the entire community."

A 53-year-old woman, believed to be Khalid Rashad's wife, was arrested Brent on the evening of Wednesday, 15 April on suspicion of the commission, preparation and instigation of acts of terrorism but was released from custody on Wednesday 22 April with no further action.

A 36-year-old man arrested on Friday, 17 April on suspicion of conspiracy to murder was bailed on Sunday, 19 April to a date in early May.

Leslie Cooper, also 36, of Nightingale Road, Brent, has appeared in court charged with Mr Arwani's murder and has been remanded in custody.

Detectives from the Metropolitan Police Service's Counter Terrorism Command (SO15) continue to investigate.

Local officers also continue to work closely with the local communities affected by the police investigation following the murder of Mr Arwani and have thanked the community for their ongoing support and understanding throughout this process.

April 25, 2015