One dead, several injured as van driven through crowd outside London mosque

Xavier Trudeau
Juin 19, 2017

Theresa May confirmed that the police were treating it as a potential terrorist attack and said she will chair an emergency response meeting on Monday.

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.

Monday's incident in London follows three Islamist attacks in Britain this year.

A van struck several worshippers leaving the Finsbury Park mosque early Monday morning after Ramadan prayers.

Meanwhile, chairman of the mosque at Finsbury Park, Mohammed Kozbar, tweeted: "Our thoughts and prayers with those who got injured and effected by this cowardly attack in Finsbury Park area, many casualties in the floor".

A white man with black hair was seen being detained by police officers.

"The man tried to escape".

Another witness, Abdikadar Warfa, said: "I saw a man underneath the van".

On social media, witnesses said they believed that the victims had been performing Tarawih, the evening prayers performed by Sunni Muslims at night in the Islamic month of Ramadan.

'Enough is enough, my condolences and prayers for all the victims and their families.

The incident happened outside the Muslim Welfare House, 100 metres (yards) around the corner from the Finsbury Park Mosque. I have also spoken with community organisations in the area, local MP Jeremy Corbyn and leader of the council Richard Watts. "Everybody was shouting: "A van's hit people, a van's hit people", one woman who lives opposite the scene told the BBC. "There was three people in the van".

Police say a suspect was arrested immediately after the attack, which is being treated as a terrorist incident. According to the 2011 Census, half the population in the borough aged under 25 are from nonwhite ethnic backgrounds.

Police said they responded to a "major incident", after reports shortly after midnight of a vehicle colliding with pedestrians in Seven Sisters Road.

Britain's terrorist alert is set at "severe", meaning an attack is highly likely, Sky News reported.

On May 22, a suicide bomber blew himself up outside a pop concert in Manchester, killing 22 people.

"If you were interested in targeting a group of Muslims at a mosque that was notorious, this would be the mosque you would do it at".

Ali said the driver seemed to intentionally strike the pedestrians. In a statement outside 10, Downing Street, May had said that there was "far too much tolerance of extremism in our country".

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 mosque, which today operates largely as a community center, rose to global notoriety in the early 2000s, due to its links with Egyptian-born radical cleric Abu Hamza al-Masri.

Its former imam, Abu Hamza, was jailed in Britain for inciting violence and racial hatred before being extradited to NY, where he was sentenced to life in prison for terrorism in 2015. "They were all leaving the mosque when they got hit".

Cage, a Muslim human rights group, said there had been "an epidemic rise in anti-Muslim hate crimes" but called for calm "not to inflame an already volatile and distressing situation".

"He went on top of the people".

"An advance trauma team from London's Air Ambulance has also been dispatched by auto", the statement said.

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