UK official: mosque attack treated as terrorism

Danny Woods
June 19, 2017

I've been in touch with the mosques, police and Islington council regarding the incident.

According to reports, at least ten people were hit outside the mosque with three of them being critically injured.

The council's secretary general Harun Khan said he expected authorities to step up security "as a matter of urgency", adding many would feel "terrorised" following the incident outside the Muslim Welfare House in Seven Sisters Road. A post mortem examination will be scheduled due course.

Another witness who lives in a flat on Seven Sisters Road said she saw people "shouting and screaming". Police have said the driver was a 48-year-old man who was arrested and taken to a hospital as a precaution.

He was taken to the hospital and will be subject to a mental health evaluation.

"While this appears to be an attack on a particular community, like the awful attacks in Manchester, Westminster and London Bridge it is also an assault on all our shared values of tolerance, freedom and respect".

One person was in custody and the investigation was ongoing, police said.

Britain, especially London, has been on edge over several recent incidents, including last month's terror bombing in Manchester and the recent vehicle attack and stabbing near London Bridge. It said its prayers are with the victims.

Eight people were killed and 50 injured on June 3 when three Islamist militants drove into pedestrians on London Bridge and stabbed people at nearby restaurants and bars.

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London Mayor Sadiq Khan said following that attack that there had been a 40-percent increase in racist incidents in the city and a fivefold increase in the number of anti-Muslim incidents.

One video shows injured people lying on the ground and a man performing first aid on the injured.

But Finsbury Park Mosque, an unassuming five-story redbrick building opposite the station, which opened in 1994, has been the area's most famous venue in recent years.

Abu Hamza, who was the mosque's imam from 1997 to 2003, was later extradited to the United States, where he was convicted of supporting al Qaeda and Taliban terrorists, and sentenced to life in prison in 2015.

Despite the change in leadership and a new focus on inter-faith relations, the mosque reported it had received a string of threatening emails and letters in the wake of the terror attacks in Paris.

Mohammed Shafiq of the Ramadhan Foundation, a Muslim organization, said that based on eyewitness reports, it seems to be a "deliberate attack against innocent Muslims".

Cage, a Muslim human rights group, said there had been "an epidemic rise in anti-Muslim hate crimes".

Britain has seen two other attacks this year.

Two weeks earlier, a suicide bomber killed 22 people at a concert by American pop singer Ariana Grande in Manchester in northern England.

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