A man has been arrested as part of a police investigation into letters calling for a “Punish a Muslim day”.
The 35-year-old man, from Lincoln, was arrested on suspicion of soliciting murder by police investigating the letters which called for a day of violence against Muslims in Britain.
He is also being held on suspicion of sending a hoax noxious substance and threatening letters. The anonymous letters issued a plea for a co-ordinated attack on Muslims.
The man is being held in a West Yorkshire police station after being arrested by officers from the north-east counter-terrorism policing unit.
Counter Terrorism Policing North East said in a statement that searches had been carried out at a home in Lincoln and an office in the city centre.
The letters, which proposed specific forms of attack, have been circulated online and received in communities across England – including London, West Yorkshire, South Yorkshire, and Leicestershire.
Recipients allegedly included Sajid Javid, the current home secretary (who was communities secretary at the time), and a host of Labour MPs.
“We take religious hatred extremely seriously and my officers will be carrying out a full and thorough investigation in response to these reports,” Detective Chief Superintendent Martin Snowden, head of the north-east counter-terrorism policing unit, said as he made an appeal for information in March.
“These letters seek to cause fear and offence among our Muslim communities. They also seek to divide us. Yet, in spite of this, our communities have shown strength in their response to such hatred and in their support for each other.”
A police spokesman said: “We understand that people may be concerned following this activity.
“However, we would like to reassure communities that this activity is a result of an ongoing, intelligence-led investigation and was not in response to an immediate threat.”