One Dead in Crash Near London Mosque Suspected as Terrorism

Frederick Owens
June 19, 2017

Witnesses have described the aftermath after a van was driven into pedestrians near a north London mosque, leaving one man dead and eight injured.

The London Ambulance Service said it treated a further eight people at the scene, who have now been taken to three hospitals in the capital. She said her thoughts were with the injured, their loved ones and emergency officials who responded to the incident.

A 48-year-old man has since been arrested and detained by the police.

"My prayers are with the victims and their families".

The mosque is near Seven Sisters Road and was once a notorious hub for radical Islamists but has entirely changed under new management.

The crash occurred at a time when the multiethnic neighborhood was crowded with Muslims leaving the Finsbury Park mosque after Ramadan prayers.

The Muslim Council of Britain has condemned the Finsbury Park van attack, calling it "the most violent manifestation" yet of Islamophobia and calling for extra security around mosques.

Police said they will investigate whether they died as a result of the attack or something else, and the force is trying to contact the next of kin.

"According to eyewitnesses this was a deliberate attack against innocent Muslims going about their life".

The largest mosque in the area is Finsbury Park Mosque, an unassuming five-story redbrick building near the station, which opened in 1994.

Resident Cynthia Vanzella said she was in bed when she heard people shouting.

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The incident happened in #Finsbury Park, and eight people have been hospitalized.

Muslims pray on a sidewalk in the Finsbury Park area of north London after a vehichle hit pedestrians.

Secretary general Harun Khan said: 'During the night, ordinary British citizens were set upon while they were going about their lives, completing their night worship.

One twitter user later told of 3 Muslims being killed, with most of those injured being Somali individuals as they left the Finsbury Mosque.

"We have worked very hard over decades to build a peaceful and tolerant community here in Finsbury Park and we totally condemn any act of hate that tries to drive our wonderful community apart", CEO Toufik Kacimi said.

The Met Police said in a statement: "Police were called just after 0020hrs 18 June to reports of a vehicle in collision with pedestrians".

Many people on the street had just been taking part in evening prayers after breaking the Ramadan fast.

The Finsbury Park Mosque gained notoriety more than a decade ago for sermons by radical cleric Abu Hamza al-Masri, who was sentenced to life in a U.S. prison in January 2015 after being convicted of terrorism-related charges. I've been in touch with the mosques, police and Islington council regarding the incident.

Eyewitnesses told Sky News and other British media that the van seemed to have veered and hit people intentionally.

It also follows a suicide bombing at a pop concert in Manchester, northern England, in May which killed 22, while in March, a man drove a rented vehicle into pedestrians on Westminster Bridge in London and stabbed a policeman to death before being shot dead.

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