The chilling moment an arsonist targeted a family home in a suspected hate-crime attack

Using a blow torch an arsonist tries to set fire to a family home. The chilling attack was caught on film and is being treated by police as a suspected hate-crime.

The terrifying moment just before midnight on Sunday came after a spate of incidents in which the home of Mohammed Usman Hameed has been targeted since late last year. The campaign began in November when the Star of David was daubed on his garden wall. Police are now trying to establish if the attacks are linked.

Mohammed believes his home was targeted after he displayed Palestinian flags in his window. The 35-year-old lives in the property in Prestwich with his wife, two young children, and members of his extended family.

"Since November we have had several incidents - graffiti three or four times on my property, and on a guest's car who parked outside my house - a line of spray paint was put across the whole car in the middle of the night. In the other incidents the Star of David again and IDF (Israel Defence Force) was left on my wall.

"They also sprayed the Star of David across from my house so we could see it. Two weeks ago eggs were thrown at a bedroom window. We have reported all the incidents to the police. We can probably live with the graffiti but when someone tries to attack my house with fire that is a different level.

"We have passed the video of the incident to police. The police have been to my house and sorted out a fire service person to do a risk assessment on my house. I am getting increasingly frustrated and concerned with the situation.

"This has been on and off for the last ten months. There is no routine to it. Just as you put your guard down something else happens. The shed which they tried to set on fire is only three feet away from my house.

"The house could have gone on fire, and I have parents of sixty-years plus, sisters, my children, niece, and wife living here. God forbid anything should happen but it is getting progressively worse.

"Luckily because it had rained the fire did not take hold on the shed. But the culprit stood there for I would say 45 seconds with a blow torch trying to get it to go. The shed is in the back garden and there is a back alleyway which is technically private land behind my house next to my back garden, which the person has walked along to get to the shed.

"I would consider this terrorism - they are terrorising me and my family. Our fear is what's next? I have not taken down the Palestinian flags. I will not be bullied, they are not illegal. We are quite cordial with our neighbours, we have been living here almost 20 years.

"We have never had any issues now all this has happened I think because of the Palestinian flags or just for being Muslim in general. There are flags displayed up and down the country of other places, like Ukraine, and at the moment England flags. I have no issue with any one else's.

"It is very alarming that someone can come with a blow torch to set ablaze my shed and potentially my house."

In a statement Greater Manchester Police said: "Police are appealing for information after a property has been vandalised in Prestwich. We were called shortly after midnight on Monday 1 July to reports of attempted arson at a property in Prestwich.

"We are also aware of previous allegations of graffiti at the same location, and as part of our investigation, we will be exploring whether these incidents are linked. We share the concern of residents, and we understand how intimidating and damaging these sorts of offences can be.

Shed where the arson attack took place . The home of Mohammed Usman Hameed in Prestwich
A man holding a blow torch aloft as he tries to ignite a shed in the garden of the family home of Mohammed Hameed.

"We are treating these incidents with the utmost sensitivity and severity, and whilst we are in the early stage of our investigation, we are following several positive lines of enquiry. However, we would like to appeal to the public who may have crucial information which could be pivotal to our investigation.

"I would urge anyone who has any information about who is responsible or saw anyone acting suspiciously in the area on Sunday night into Monday morning, to get in touch. If you were driving in the area at the time and have dash cam footage, please also contact us."

Information can be shared by calling 101 quoting log 8 of 1/7/24. If you would prefer to remain anonymous, information can be shared by calling the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.