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Manhunt underway for suspected Melbourne mosque arsonists

CCTV cameras captured the arson suspects lugging a container of inflammable liquid into the Fawkner Islamic Centre.

CCTV cameras captured the arson suspects lugging a container of inflammable liquid into the Fawkner Islamic Centre. Photo: Victoria Police

Three men were seen carrying accelerant at the scene of an arson attack on a Melbourne Islamic centre.

The Imam Ali Islamic Centre on Lawson Street, Fawkner, was set on fire in May, November and December last year.

The most recent fire, on December 11 was deliberately lit by three men seen on CCTV carrying accelerant and car tyres about 2.30am.

Graffiti reading ‘The Islamic State’ in English and ‘The State the Islam’ in Arabic was also sprayed on the outside wall of the centre before the fire was lit.

Detectives have talked to an Arabic interpreter and believe the Arabic graffiti was written by someone with a reasonable understanding of the language and who intended to write ‘Islamic State’ but made a spelling mistake.

The arsonists were all wearing dark clothing and hooded jumpers and the centre was completely destroyed.

The first two fires on May 14 and November 25 caused minor damage, police say.

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