A Muslim convert suspected of ordering the murder of a Syrian-born imam is the brother of Liz Mitchell, the former lead singer of the 1970s disco group Boney M.

The investigation into the shooting of Abdul Hadi Arwani took a bizarre twist when it emerged that one of the suspects was brought up in a devoutly Christian family with the voice behind Brown Girl in the Ring and the Rivers of Babylon, Rasputin and Daddy Cool.

Burnell "Bernie" Mitchell, a 61-year-old builder and director of the An Noor mosque in West London, where Arwani used to preach, is being questioned on suspicion of conspiracy to murder, a report in The Times says.

According to The Times, Mitchell is a trustee of the An Noor Cultural and Community Centre, a mosque in West London, which has been searched by counter- terrorism detectives investigating Arwani's murder. Mitchell's home in Wembley has also allegedly been searched.

Mitchell is the younger brother of Liz Mitchell, one of the most successful singers of the 1970s who recorded Boney M hits. The born-again Christian, who now lives in Reading, has recorded four albums in her own name with a strong religious emphasis.