One arrest after vehicle hits people outside of London mosque

Frederick Owens
June 19, 2017

Kozbar reportedly said this was "a serious incident, maybe a terrorist incident, which affects a lot of people" in this part of London.

London is once again waking up to another terror attack.

The attacker struck as the area was busy with worshippers attending Ramadan night prayers at Finsbury Park mosque.

According to a witness who asked to be called Abdulrahman, which is not his real name, the driver of the van said: "I want to kill Muslims". "He (the driver) was screaming".

Eyewitness to the attack, Abdul Rahman, said the driver said he wanted to "kill all Muslims".

The man suspected of being the driver has been arrested on suspicion of attempted murder, and no other suspects have been identified or reported to police, Deputy Assistant Commissioner Neil Basu told reporters on Monday.

But he was overpowered by bystanders and detained until police arrived. "Their restraint in the circumstances was commendable". It was exactly the same time as the prayers finished.

The attack comes at a time of political turmoil in Britain, as May, weakened by the loss of her parliamentary majority in a June 8 election, plunges into divorce talks with the European Union.

Britain has been hit by a series of attacks in recent months, including the van-and-knife attack on London Bridge on June 3.

Prime Minister Theresa May issued a statement saying she would be chairing an emergency meeting on Monday morning and adding: "All my thoughts are with the victims, their families and the emergency services on the scene". Counter-terror police were investigating the incident.

The incident occurred in the constituency of Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn, who said that he was "totally shocked at the incident" and had been in touch with mosques, police and the local council.

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Eight people were killed and dozens were wounded before police fatally shot the three attackers. Vehicles have also been also used to attack the public on London's Westminster Bridge, in Nice, France, and in Berlin. The attack killed five people.

- Residents in Finsbury Park had criticized authorities for not declaring the incident as terrorism soon enough, and police only publicly announced they were treating it as terror more than eight hours after the event.

The Finsbury Park Mosque, in the London borough of Islington, was long linked with the fostering of extremists, with "shoebomber" Richard Reid and Zacarias Moussaoui, who is in prison in the U.S. for his part in the September 11 terror attack, known to have worshipped there.

Khan said it was a deliberate attack on innocent people in the city, on people who were leaving the mosque after Ramadan prayers.

"I heard a lot of shouting and panic".

The Met confirmed that two people sustained minor injuries in the attack and were treated at the scene close to the Arsenal Football Club's Emirates Stadium. "More information will follow when we have it".

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

One witness told the BBC he held down the suspect for 20 to 30 minutes before police arrived.

After the attack, the man driving the van was detained by members of the public.

"A white van coming towards Finsbury Park swayed into a number of people near the mosque", eyewitness Mohammed Suleiman told MEE.

A new board of trustees and management took over in February 2005, a year after Abu Hamza was arrested by British police, since when attendance has greatly increased among worshippers from various communities, according to the mosque's website.

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