HOODED arsonists destroyed two cars outside the home of a prominent Kirklees councillor in a targeted petrol bomb attack.
Coun Masood Ahmed (Lab, Dewsbury South) says he and his family are “lucky to be alive” following the incident at 1.30am on Wednesday.
Thugs torched two vehicles belonging to his son and daughter in an attack that could be linked to his stance on criminality in the ward.
A shaken but defiant Coun Ahmed praised police and emergency services for their prompt response and for helping secure his home on Pentland Road, Savile Town.
Police are reviewing neighbours’ CCTV and he has vowed: “They are not going to drive us out.”
Coun Ahmed, 50, fled the house with his wife, four children and two grandchildren after four men petrol-bombed a black Audi A1 and a blue Subaru Impreza, which was parked on the drive.
“I had got up and gone downstairs for a drink of water when I heard a noise,” said Coun Ahmed. “The next moment I heard a bang and both cars were on fire.
“My kids were in their beds overlooking the cars. My grandkids were in the next room. Everybody is shaken up and scared.”
The family managed to escape through the front door of the property and initially tried to extinguish the flames with water before firefighters arrived.
Nearby CCTV systems recorded four hooded men arriving in a dark-coloured Peugeot 207. They are carrying petrol bombs which are thrown at two cars, one on the street and another on the driveway.
Coun Ahmed said he did not know why his home had been targeted but he has had messages of support from the Mayor of Kirklees, the chief executive and much of the local community.
Since the attack his two grandchildren, aged four and eight, have been moved to a relative’s house, but the rest of the family is staying put.
The substance misuse worker has been a councillor in the Dewsbury South ward for 13 years and earlier this year stood down as cabinet member for learning and aspiration to devote more time to his family, after a string of high-profile roles in the Kirklees leadership.
Coun Ahmed told The Press that about a month ago he had an altercation with a group of local criminals which may be linked to this week’s arson attack.
He said: “I am a prominent figure in the area but it is not some disgruntled resident fed up of parking charges or dog fouling.
“A few weeks ago I had a run-in with some known individuals involved in illegal activity and I told them to move on and that they were not above the law.
“These sort of people cannot take the law into their own hands, this is not the Bronx.”I have lived here for 45 years and have not had so much as a scratch on my car, but this is most definitely a targeted attack on me and my family.
“These people are gutless cowards – total scumbags.”
Coun Ahmed has said he will remain in his home with the support of the police and fire service.
“We are lucky to be alive,” he added. “It could have been a lot worse. I keep thinking, ‘What if’?’ That’s been going through my mind.
“I hope that the police catch these people. They need to be caught now to stop them doing it to anybody else.
“The police and the fire service have been great. I couldn’t ask any more from them.
“They have fitted alarms and have sealed my letterbox. The police are observing the property and doing door-to-door inquiries. They have gone above and beyond.”
West Yorkshire Police confirmed it is investigating two car fires on Pentland Road.
Officers are conducting house-to-house enquiries in the area and examining CCTV.
Anyone who witnessed the incident or saw anything suspicious is asked to contact the police via 101 quoting crime reference number 13190544179.
Information can also be passed to Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.