‘Target for terrorists’: Councillor urges MK to be vigilant

Shisha tent set alight in the early hours of Wednesday morning
Shisha tent set alight in the early hours of Wednesday morning

Milton Keynes is a “prime target” for terrorism, according to a leading Conservative councillor.

Today Andy Dransfield warned the public to remain vigilant in the wake of the deadly terror acts in Paris.

His fears follow an alleged “revenge attack” by arsonists who burnt down a Bletchley Shisha bar in the early hours of yesterday.

Security checks have already been stepped up at city tourist spots, including Milton Keynes Theatre, while stadium:mk continues to enforce strict safety measures at Dons’ matches.

Leading figures in the Muslim community have condemned the violent acts in France.

They have organised peace parades across the city to “show unity against terrorism” and put an end to Islamophobia.

Councillor Dransfield said: “We have to remember that just because those terrorists were Muslims, it doesn’t mean all Muslims are terrorists.

“People must be vigilant – especially after the Shisha fire, which may have been a revenge attack on a popular venue for the Muslim community.

“MK has made a name for itself on the international map, so it must be a prime target for terrorist activity. London has been so well protected that terrorists could potentially be looking elsewhere.”

After battling the flames at the Shisha tent, firefighters remained on scene for another eight hours. An investigation into the cause of the fire has now been launched.

Abdul Hamid, a regular visitor of Jumeirah on Princes Way, said: “Someone did this, but I don’t know what their motive would be. I know there are lunatics in the world, but people here know that not all Muslims are terrorists. At least I hope so.”

Devastated owner Absher Harzi described his shock that the “iconic” hang-out had burnt to the ground.

“It was a place where the whole MK community could come together, whether they were Muslim or not. It is too early and too soon to speculate about what has happened.”

> A peace parade by Zainabia Islamic Centre begins at Station Square on Saturday at 1pm.