Former Preacher From Acton Mosque Shot Dead

Counter Terrorism Officers now involved in investigation

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Abdul Hadi Arwani, and

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Police have named a man shot dead in a suspected assassination as Abdul Hadi Arwani, the former imam at the An-noor Masjid mosque in Acton. The victim resided with his family in the W12 area.

They were called by the London Ambulance Service at 11:15hrs on Tuesday 7th April to reports of a man suffering from what are believed to be gun injuries to his chest.

On arrival Mr Arwani was found sitting in a dark coloured Volkswagen Passat parked in Greenhill, junction with The Paddocks in Wembley.

The father of six was a fierce critic of Syrian President Bashar-al-Assad and considered an authority on Islamic marriage contracts and divorce law.

He had studied at the Faculty of Shariah (Islamic law) in Jordan, and was a teacher in various Islamic seminaries in Slough and London, according to the London College of Islamic Studies.

His son, Murhaf Arwani said, "My father was a very well loved figure in West London. He was the most peaceful man you could ever wish to meet. He just loved to help people. He did not care what your background, race or status was. He did not care if you were rich or poor. He just wanted to help people in need. It has only been 24 hours since his death and yet we have received hundreds of messages from individuals testifying to how he had helped them personally or helped them get a job or helped members of their families. He never asked for a reward for what he did."

He described his father as a peaceful man who was actively involved in the fight against extremism who advocated the importance of democracy and freedom. He said that while at the An Noor mosque he was "the voice of reason and transparency; a peaceful man in a violent world."

Detectives from the Counter Terrorism Command (SO15) are leading the investigation because of their expertise in the management of investigations with international dimensions and an established liaison network abroad.

Police appeal to anyone with information to contact Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.


April 12, 2015