- Police search An Noor mosque in west London during probe into death of Abdul Hadi Arwani
- Officers say they have taken steps to avoid 'causing concern' to locals
- Jamaican businessman Leslie Cooper, 36, appeared in court today yesterday charged with murdering Arwani
- A 61-year-old man has been arrested on suspicion of conspiracy to murder
Arrests: A second man has been arrested over the death of Syrian iman Abdul Hadi Arwani
Counter-terrorism police have raided a mosque where a Syrian imam used to preach before he was shot dead on a London street.
Officers searched the An Noor community centre in west London last night after a businessman appeared in court charged with murdering Abdul Hadi Arwani, and another man was arrested over his death.
Leslie Cooper, 36, appeared at Camberwell Magistrates' Court yesterday and was ordered to attend the Old Bailey later this week.
Last night the Metropolitan Police revealed that they had also arrested a 61-year-old man on suspicion of conspiracy to commit murder.
Officers visited An Noor, in Acton, to search for further clues in the killing of Mr Arwani, 48, who was an outspoken opponent of the Assad regime in his native country.
The raid was believed to be the first major counter-terror operation in a mosque since 2003, and police insisted that they had taken steps to avoid inflaming community tensions with the search.
A spokesman said: 'As part of the ongoing investigation, officers are carrying out a number of searches of addresses in London including areas within the An Noor Cultural and Community Centre in West London.
'All officers involved in the search of the mosque are sensitive to the impact that their presence will have and are aware that this action may cause concern in the local community.
'We have been in contact with trusted community Muslim advisors this afternoon to reassure them that the action is necessary and that the premises will re-open as quickly as possible.'
Raid: Police pictured outside the An Noor mosque in west London while searching the premises
Mr Arwani was found dead in his black Volkswagen Passat on a street in Wembley last Tuesday.
A post-mortem examination found that the father of six died from gunshot wounds, and counter-terrorism officers were tasked with investigating his killing.
He was previously one of the leading preachers at An Noor, but was apparently forced out of the mosque a few years ago after a dispute with other imams.
After Cooper, a Jamaican businessman, appeared in court yesterday it emerged that he had been arrested while his wife and children were at a barbecue hosted by a neighbour in Brent, north-west London.
Friends described the murder suspect as a polite and teetotal church-goer, who works as a builder and a carpenter as well as running a business selling Jamaican-themed clothing.
Describing the moment Cooper was arrested, a neighbour told the Daily Telegraph said: 'It was Sunday afternoon and his wife and kids were with me when suddenly there were police everywhere.
'Then they stormed inside. There were so many armed police with machine guns, it was like the Falklands War all over again.'
Car: Mr Arwani was found dead last week in this Volkswagen Passat on a street in Wembley
Cooper was remanded in custody by a judge yesterday ahead of his appearance at the Old Bailey this week.
Last night, Mr Arwani's family thanked the local community 'for the outpouring of support during this extremely difficult time'.
In a statement released through Scotland Yard, his son Murhaf said: 'We are touched to learn how many people my father helped, advised and inspired in his short life.
'If anyone has any additional information that can help with the investigation, we urge you to please come forward and speak to the Metropolitan Police.
'Your co-operation will help us close this painful page and begin to move on with our lives, in the knowledge that the person who took away our father will be brought to justice and duly punished for this heinous crime.'
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