A MUSLIM community leader was kidnapped from his home and taken to Epping Forest where he was ordered at knifepoint to stop holding prayer meetings.

Details are starting to emerge of the latest attack on Noor Ramjanally, whose home was firebombed last month.

He was in his flat in Valley Hill, Loughton, on Monday when he heard someone repeatedly ringing the intercom outside.

He said: “The doorbell kept ringing, I thought it was someone to fix up the flat. I came down and two men grabbed me. They put a weapon, I think a knife, at the back of me and forced me into a 4x4.

“They didn't say anything until I was in the forest. They said they didn't want the Islamic group in Loughton.”

After the man drove off Mr Ramjanlly was able to attract a dogwalker passing by who phoned the police. He said: “It was very shocking. I was still shaking when I got inside. It's killing me.”

The abduction marks the third time that Mr Ramjanally has been targeted since he set up Islamic prayer meetings in Murray Hall, in Borders Lane, Loughton, earlier this year.

Last month he received hate mail threatening his family and later suffered an arson attack at his home.

Essex Police have confirmed they are treating the latest attack as a hate crime and are linking it to the two previous incidents and the use of Murray Hall.

Superintendent Simon Williams said: "We are treating these offences with the utmost seriousness and are putting considerable resources into the investigation.

"While that investigation continues we will be working with the whole population of Loughton to ensure that all members of the community are free to practise their religion and beliefs safely and freely."

Anyone with information about any of the incidents is asked to call police at Loughton on 0300 333 4444, or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.