Boney M star’s brother held over Assad-critic imam’s murder – reports

Abdul Hadi Arwani (Screenshot from youtube.com video)
A Muslim convert suspected of ordering the murder of a Syrian-born imam is the brother of the former lead singer of the 1970s disco group Boney M, reports suggest.

Burnell “Bernie” Mitchell is being questioned on suspicion of being involved in a conspiracy to murder Abdul Hadi Arwani, the Times reports.

Muslim-convert Mitchell is a 61-year-old builder and trustee of the An Noor mosque in West London, where Arwani used to preach.

READ MORE: Syrian anti-Assad imam shot dead in London

He is the younger brother of Liz Mitchell, the lead singer for the 1970s disco group Boney M, famous for songs like Rivers of Babylon and Daddy Cool.

The An Noor Cultural and Community Centre, where Arwani was an imam from 2005 to 2011, has been searched by counter-terrorism detectives investigating Arwani's murder. Mitchell's home in Wembley has also allegedly been searched.

He is believed to have converted to Islam several years ago and is now known as Khaled, the Times reports. He and his siblings, including the former Boney M lead singer, moved to London from Jamaica when they were children. They were brought up by a Christian family.

Police investigating the murder of Syrian-born preacher and Assad-critic Arwani have also arrested a 53-year-old woman on suspicion of the commission, preparation and instigation of acts of terrorism.

READ MORE: Man arrested over brutal murder of Syrian-born London imam

Scotland Yard said the woman, who is the third person to be detained in connection with the killing, was arrested in Brent, North London.

Arwani, 48, a father of six, was found dead in a car with multiple gunshot wounds on April 7 in London.

Meanwhile, Leslie Cooper, 36, has appeared at the Old Bailey charged with Arwani's murder.

Police said a 61-year-old man arrested on suspicion of conspiracy to murder Mr Arwani was re-arrested on Wednesday for alleged terror offences and remains in custody at a South London police station.

Arwani's son, Murhaf, issued a plea to anybody who may be able to help with the investigation.

“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,” he said.