Police still working to reassure community after Syria ‘suicide bombing’


A “massive amount” of work is ongoing in the community following February’s anti-terror activity in Crawley.

The assurance was given by temporary chief constable Giles York in relation to a suicide bombing in Syria believed to have been carried out by Langley Green man Abdul Waheed Majid.

But he acknowledged the difficulty officers face in distinguishing between people heading abroad for aid reasons and those intent on leaving to fight.

Mr York was speaking to Sussex Police & Crime Commissioner Katy Bourne during a performance & accountability meeting on March 21 where she described events in Crawley as “a sad case”.

Counter-terrorism police searched four homes in Langley Green and Three Bridges during their investigations on February 12 and 13.

Mr York said: “The reassurance is the massive amount of work going on in Crawley by Sussex Police, working with the community there is absolutely key.”

He added: “There will be ongoing community work in place.

“The really difficult thing is supporting those people who have gone out to help as aid working in Syria and distinguishing those who have gone to fight in Syria and treating them differently.”

Describing the police’s relationship with the communities of Crawley as “robust” and “positive”, he added: “We work very hard at maintaining that and the key to it, I’ve always found, is the transparency – of trying to keep as little hidden from them in any way at all and being really transparent in what it is that we’re seeking to achieve.”

One Muslim leader acknowledged the work carried out by the police and said people has “moved on”.

Arif Sayed said: “People have moved on to their day-to-day lives. This particular issue as far as the community’s concerned is over and done with.”

Mr Sayed dismissed a claim made by Majid’s brother during an interview for the BBC’s Newsnight programme that the bomber was a hero.

Mr Sayed said: “I don’t think that’s the view shared by the vast majority of Crawley people. I’m not aware of people saying he’s a hero, apart from his brother.

“It’s our policy at both mosques that we condemn all acts of terrorism wherever they take place in the world and we stand against it and will continue to do our part.”