A terrorism expert who had a chemical sprayed in his face and was beaten with sticks in a street attack says he is now “scared for his life”.
Noor Dahri, director of the Islamic Theology of Counter Terrorism (ITCT), was attacked by two masked men as he waited by his car on Tuesday afternoon.
Leicestershire Police, which is investigating the attack in Barfoot Road, Wigston, said a 15-year-old boy was arrested but later released.
Mr Dahri suffered minor injuries.
Mr Dahri, who also works as a driving instructor, had been waiting to meet a new student when he was attacked at 14:30 GMT.
“They just came up to me and sprayed the chemical in my eye and it was burning,” he said.
“They both started beating me, swearing and shouting.
“I had a very heavy pain in my eyes and I was asking ‘why are you beating me?’, ‘what’s the reason?’.
“They kicked me on the floor and that’s when I realised I had to get away. I was trying to save myself.”
Mr Dahri said he ran into another road where members of the public called emergency services.
He said the attackers also damaged his car and smashed the windows before getting away.
The father of two suffered a damaged cornea and has since been discharged from hospital.
‘My life comes first’
The ITCT think tank describes itself as an organisation dedicated to changing the way terrorism is researched and has advisors including a former director of Interpol and a former Northern Ireland superintendent.
Mr Dahri said the motive behind the attack could be “racial, it could be pre-planned, it could be to do with the counter-terrorism work I do, but I don’t know”.
“I’m highly present on social media and writing books and articles on the subject so it could be that, but right now my life comes first,” he said.
“I’m very scared and depressed. My family is very scared.”
Police confirmed they were investigating a report of assault after a man in his 50s was punched, kicked and had an unknown substance sprayed in his face.
A spokeswoman said the chemical “has been confirmed as not being acid-based” and their inquiries continue.