Deadly mosque attack in London treated as terrorism

Claudine Rigal
Juin 19, 2017

London Mayor Sadiq Khan said an incident in which a man drove a van into worshippers near a London mosque killing one person and injuring 10 was an attack on common values.

"The driver of the van - a man aged 48 - was found detained by members of the public at the scene", police report.

The vehicle was rented from a Welsh company known as Pontyclun Van Hire.

Police said the driver has been taken to hospital "as a precaution" and will undergo a mental health assessment.

The chairman of the Finsbury Park Mosque, Mohammed Kozbar, complained that the "mainstream media" had been unwilling to call the attack a terrorist incident for many hours.

British Prime Minister Theresa May was informed of the incident about 3:00am local time.

I said: We will not kill you.

Police confirmed there have been "a number of casualties" in Seven Sisters Road near London's Finsbury Park Station.

Video shows an angry crowd pinning down the apparent van driver moments after his vehicle ploughed into worshippers leaving a north London mosque. "One has been arrested and two ran away", he added.

She said her thoughts were with the injured, their loved ones and emergency officials who responded to the incident.

A man who witnessed the entire scene, Abdulrahman Saleh Alamoudi, said that after the man was immobilized, he was still shouting: "I will kill all Muslims, I will kill all the Muslims".

Mr Rahman told the BBC he struck the man and helped subdue him until the police arrived.

"People are going to wake up tomorrow.communities from all different backgrounds, and they're going to be in shock to hear worshipers in front of a mosque were attacked in the same way that people were attacked on the London Bridge", he said.

- Police said they've not identified any other suspects at the scene nor have any been reported to police.

- Investigation of the incident is being carried out by the Counter Terrorism Command.

The incident comes at a time when emotions are high in the United Kingdom, in the wake of a series of deadly terrorist attacks.

Many local Muslim worshippers complained that police did not immediately treat it as a terrorist attack, saying they would have treated the incident differently if it had been an Islamist assault.

The attack comes just two weeks after the terror attack on London Bridge, where jihadis used a hired van to mow people down before stabbing revellers in nearby Borough Market.

Opened in 1994, Finsbury Park Mosque is an unassuming five-story redbrick building in residential north London, close to Arsenal Football Club's Emirates Stadium.

The leader of the opposition Labour Party Jeremy Corbyn also tweeted about the crash.

"During the night, ordinary British citizens were set upon while they were going about their lives, completing their night worship", said Harun Khan, the secretary general of the Muslim Council of Britain.

Police said the 48-year-old white man who was driving the van that hit those leaving evening prayers at the Finsbury Park mosque has been arrested on suspicion of attempted murder.

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