March 21 (UPI) -- Windows were smashed with a sledgehammer at several Birmingham area mosques Thursday, putting police and counter terrorism units on high alert.
The incidents were reported in the early morning hours and at least one attack was captured on surveillance video.
"The whole of the front windows, about six, were smashed," a spokesman for the Witton Islamic Centre on Witton Road, Aston. "Because of the force he used it's gone through the windows and into the mosque itself."
Police haven't determined a motive yet, but they believe the vandalism is linked.
"What I can say is that force and the Counter Terrorism Unit are working side-by-side to find whoever is responsible," Chief Constable of West Midlands Police Dave Thompson said. "Since the tragic events in Christchurch, New Zealand, officers and staff from West Midlands Police have been working closely with our faith partners across the region to offer reassurances and support at mosques, churches and places of prayer."
The attacks left the area's Islamic community "horrified."
"Birmingham's mosques are a place of worship, serenity and a source of peace and tranquility," the Birmingham Council of Mosques said. "We are appalled by such acts of hate/terror."
The council said at least five mosques were damaged.
Unfortunately the Witton Road Islamic Centre was attacked overnight by an individual who used a sledgehammer to break the windows.— Cllr Majid Mahmood 🌹 (@CllrMajid) March 21, 2019
I said last week that Muslims were afraid after the terrorist attacks in #ChristChurch
We need support in Brum @WMPolice. pic.twitter.com/7RjTqjRXbx