“I have a racial hatred, so I have a motivation. I wanted to increase racist conflict.”

Mohammed Saleem (left) and his killer Pavlo Lapshyn
By Nick McCarthy | 22 Oct 2013 07:00
Warped student Pavlo Lapshyn came to Birmingham with one chilling aim – to start a race war.

And just five days after arriving in the city the Ukranian murdered Mohammed Saleem, 82, stabbing the Muslim grandad to death as he walked home from his local mosque.

The senseless killing of the family man in Small Heath on April 24 initially baffled police, who later issued CCTV images of a white man running away from the scen “I have a racial hatred, so I have a motivation. I wanted to increase racist conflict.”

But despite huge publicity, the case appeared to go cold.

Yet self-confessed racist Lapshyn, 25, had not finished.

The talented engineering student had come to Birmingham after winning a work placement competition at Small Heath based firm, Delcam.

But instead of furthering a promising career, he learned how to build timed bombs from the internet, buying components from market stalls, websites and shops.

His aim was to cause maximum injury by carrying out deadly attacks at mosques around the West Midlands, locations he travelled to by bus.

Lapshyn planted the first improvised explosive device – hidden inside a child’s lunchbox – outside Walsall’s Aisha Mosque in Rutter Street on June 21.

No-one was injured in the subsequent explosion, which was not reported to police until the following day.

Lapshyn followed that attack seven days later by detonating an IED on a roundabout near Wolverhampton Central Mosque, but that explosion also went largely unnoticed.

Then on July 12 the right-wing loner packed hundreds of nails into a bomb and placed it near Kanzul Iman Masjid mosque in Binfield Street, Tipton.

That IED sent debris flying across a car park and into a residential street but failed to kill or maim hundreds of innocent worshippers – because of a change in prayer times.

Three mobile phones adapted to work as timing devices found in Lapshyns room

Xray of tree branch propelled across road outside Tipton mosque – nails embedde

Pavlo Lapshyn buys the bag he later uses to carry the Walsall bomb

Pavlo Lapshyn boards bus from Walsall back to Birmingham after planting bomb

After planting the Walsall bomb Pavlo Lapshyn is tracked by CCTV back to Small Heath

Pavlo Lapshyn boards bus from Walsall back to Birmingham after planting bomb

Pavlo Lapshyn admitted carrying out a reconnaissance mission in the days prior to planting the bombs

CCTV shows Pavlo Lapshyn getting off the bus from Walsall and walking past the Bullring after planting the bomb

Pavlo Lapshyn running away from the murder scene after killing Mohammed Saleem

Pavlo Lapshyn walks towards the Walsall mosque carrying the bomb

Pavlo Lapshyn walks away from the Walsall mosque without the bomb

Chemicals found during searches of Pavlo Lapshyn’s accommodation

Chemicals found during searches of Pavlo Lapshyn’s accommodation

A child’s lunchbox similar to the one which contained the Walsall bomb

Pavlo Lapshyn

Damage made by nails to the window of Tipton mosque

Pavlo Lapshyn returns to his accommodation at Delcam after planting the Tipton bomb

The Fire Service builds access platforms on the embankment by Tipton Mosque

Forensic officers sift through foliage after the Tipton mosque explosion

Nail embedded in the fence of a house near the Tipton mosque

Forensic removal of shrapnel from tree near Tipton mosque

Remains of explosive device in situ near Walsall mosque

After planting the Walsall bomb Pavlo Lapshyn travels back to Birmingham and buys a bottle

Some of the nails collected by forensic officers from around the Tipton mosque

Ukranian student Pavlo Lapshyn accused of murdering Birmingham pensioner Mohammed Saleem

Mohammed Saleem

Teresa May at the Kanzul Iman central Jamia mosque in Tipton, meeting Masarrat Saleem, youngest daughter of murdered Mohammed Saleem

Mohammed Saleem murder suspect Pavlo Lapshyn

Forensic officers by the mosque in Rutter Street in Walsall following the discovery of a suspicious item

Forensic officers by the mosque in Rutter Street in Walsall following the discovery of a suspicious item

Aisha Mosque in Rutter Street, Walsall

Aisha Mosque in Rutter Street, Walsall

Aisha Mosque in Rutter Street, Walsall

CCTV of Mohammed Saleem murder suspect

Wolverhampton Central Mosque, West Midlands

Wolverhampton Central Mosque, West Midlands

Pavlo Lapshyn

Pavlo Lapshyn

Pavlo Lapshyn

Green Lane Mosque close to the scene of fatal stabbing in Little Green Lane, Small Heath, Birmingham

Green Lane Mosque close to the scene of fatal stabbing in Little Green Lane, Small Heath, Birmingham

Green Lane Mosque close to the scene of fatal stabbing in Little Green Lane, Small Heath, Birmingham

Scene of fatal stabbing in Little Green Lane, Small Heath, Birmingham

Scene of fatal stabbing in Little Green Lane, Small Heath, Birmingham

CCTV of Mohammed Saleem murder suspect

CCTV of Mohammed Saleem murder suspect

CCTV of Mohammed Saleem murder suspect

CCTV of Mohammed Saleem murder suspect

Constable Ross Dalglish hands a leaflet to Suffyan Ali outside The Green Lane Mosque to help with the witness appeal of murder victim Mohammed Saleem

Mohammed Saleem murder suspect Pavlo Lapshyn

Mohammed Saleem

Mohammed Saleem who was stabbed three times as he walked home from prayers on Little Green Lane, Small Heath, with one of his grandsons.

Mohammed Saleem with relatives at a family wedding.

Mohammed Saleem with grandson Harun.

Mohammed Saleem with granddaughter Laila.

Mohammed Saleem with grandson Jamaal.

Mohammed Saleem with granddaughter Laila, one of 23 grandkids.

Mohammed Saleem and his granddaughter Laila.

Mohammed Saleem with some of his 23 grandchildren.

Mohammed Saleem and his granddaughter Laila on her first birthday.

Mohammed Saleem when he was younger.

Murder victim Mohammed Saleem with grandson Aadam.

Mohammed Saleem with granddaughter Aaliyah.

Floral tributes and messages for Mohammed Saleem in Little Green Lane

Floral tributes and messages for Mohammed Saleem in Little Green Lane

Floral tributes to Mohammed Saleem in Little Green Lane

Floral tributes to Mohammed Saleem in Little Green Lane

Mohammed Saleem’s daughters Shazia Khan (left) and Nazia Maqsood appeal for help in finding their father’s killer.

Police search a grass area near the scene of murdered Mohammed Saleem on Little Green Lane, Small Heath

Nails recovered from the scene of the Tipton explosion

Lapshyn had planned his attack to coincide with Friday prayers and had set the mobile phone timer to go off at 1pm, based on information on the mosque website.

What he had not realised was that Friday prayers had been moved back one hour due to Ramadan, so the area was deserted.

But by then the net was closing in on loner Lapshyn.

Thousands of hours of CCTV footage were viewed by specialist terror officers drafted in from across the country.

The first breakthrough came when they discovered images of a white man wearing a cap approaching the Walsall mosque with a bag, then later walking away without one.

Officers tracked him on CCTV to Walsall bus station, where he caught a bus to Birmingham city centre, then got off and bought a bottle of wine. He was then seen catching a bus back to Small Heath.

Detectives then started the huge task of searching through footage of thousands of people who had travelled from Small Heath to Walsall earlier in the day. Lapshyn was identified on one of the buses carrying a bag – inside of which was the bomb.

Officers also found clear images of him wearing a cap in the Small Heath branch of Asda, near to Delcam.

Detective Superintendent Shaun Edwards, from the West Midlands Counter Terrorism Unit, said: “As a result, Small Heath was the focus of our efforts and we deployed officers in large numbers to carry out enquiries.

“On July 18, two local officers visited the offices of Delcam where staff identified the man caught on camera as Lapshyn.”

Opon questioning, the Ukraine Metallurgical Academy graduate made full admissions to the murder and bomb campaign to detectives.

Det Supt Edwards said: “He was shown on CCTV carrying his IED past the Bullring and on busy bus routes. He didn’t prime the Walsall bomb until he arrived at the scene, but the volatility of the chemicals involved meant there was a chance it could have gone off at any stage during his journey.

“We later found video footage of him conducting reconnaissance visits to his mosque targets in Walsall and Tipton, and we recovered mobile phones he’d adapted to trigger devices.

“Similarities between his description and that of the suspect seen running from the scene of Mr Saleem’s death led us to quiz him over the murder.

“Documents were found on his computer linking him to that killing and in interview he admitted being the knifeman.”

During interview, Lapshyn spoke of his determination to target “non-whites”.

When asked by terror cops about the murder of Mr Saleem, he said: “I have a racial hatred, so I have a motivation. I have a racial motivation and a hatred.”

When asked if he had set off the bombs he said “yes” and when asked why, he added: “I wanted to increase racist conflict.”

When asked why he targeted mosques in the West Midlands he added: “Because they are not white and I am white.”

The crazed loner went on to boast that he wanted to set off a “series of explosions”, hinting that he had planned to target many more.

Det Supt Edwards said: “I think officers who interviewed Lapshyn would describe him as calm, calculated and committed in everything he did.

“He gave absolutely no indication why he targeted Mr Saleem that night. We believe that it was simply because he was not white. He was not specifically targeted. He was just in the wrong place at the wrong time.”

He added: “The chemical components and the bombs themselves were very dangerous.

“Experts in explosive devices have told us that the chemical he was transporting in those bombs on public transport were very volatile, which goes some way towards showing how confident he was in his own abilities.

“Although he was completely self-taught in bomb making he obviously had a very technical brain.

“There was enough material inside his accommodation in Small Heath for three more devices, including the mobile phones, which he used as timing devices.

“I have no doubt that if he had not been caught he would have continued in this campaign to kill.”

Speaking about the week that Lapshyn was caught, Assistant Chief Constable Marcus Beale, who leads the force Counter Terror Unit, said: “There had been the attack in Woolwich and three bomb attacks against mosques.

“I still had a serial bomber on the loose and Tipton had been an escalation because nails had been attached to the bombs.

“Friday prayers were approaching and the EDL were due to march in the city on the Saturday I think that week was as demanding as any week faced by West Midlands Police.”

ACC Beale also praised the “good old fashioned police work” that led officers to Lapshyn.

Two Small Heath based sergeants decided to ask around at the industrial estate near to the Asda where CCTV of Lapshyn had been captured. It was this tenacity that led them to Delcam and Lapshyn.

ACC Beale added: “These two officers decided to go out and speak to people on the industrial estate.

“Much of the searching at that time had been focussing on residential areas.

“It was this wonderful piece of local knowledge that helped to track him down. It was just good local policing and tenacity.”

Lapshyn will be sentenced at the Old Bailey on Friday.

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About truelabour

Investigative Journalist/Researcher for major media. Exposing the truth and police corruption with in UK police service.Certain forces say their motto is Honesty & Integrity One must ask is it lip service or genuinely meant. CO-OP Labour Party member questioning is the party standing for working class of Britain. Trade Union Activist & promoting diversity,community cohesion within multicultural Britain. Anti fascist speaks out against all foams of discrimination.
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