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Dead, 8 Injured After Van Hits Pedestrians Outside London Mosque
19 June 2017, 03:13 | Jan Cross
Muslim Council calls for ‘urgent’ security at mosques after attack
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 Finsbury Park mosque was associated with extremist ideology for several years after the 9/11 attacks in the USA but was shut down and reorganized.
May was due to hold an emergency ministerial meeting later on Monday to discuss the attack. The 48-year-old driver was arrested by police after being detained by members of the public at the scene. He has been arrested on suspicion of attempted murder, according to police.
Someone in the crowd is heard shouting, "No one touch him!"
However, the UK's Counter Terrorism Command is said to be investigating the attack, which occurred just after midnight on Monday.
Some witnesses initially reported seeing two other men fleeing the scene.
Police said they were called just after 12:20 am (2320 GMT Sunday) to reports of a collision on Seven Sisters Road, which runs through the Finsbury Park area of the city. "Inquiries continue. More information will be released when confirmed", police said in a statement.
"The Met have deployed extra police to reassure communities, especially those observing Ramadan". But it was raided and shut down and later reclaimed by the local Muslim community, who have transformed it into a place which actively promotes better community relations across faiths.
Miqdaad Versi, assistant secretary general of the Muslim Council of Britain, said the van had deliberately swerved into a group of people who were helping a man who was ill and had fallen to the ground.
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. Two of them are seriously injured.
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Hate preacher Abu Hamza used to preach at Finsbury Mosque before he was locked up in 2005.
Finsbury Park is part of the Islington borough of north London, where around 10% (19,500) of the borough's total population are Muslim.
Al-Masri, 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.
Since then the community has transformed the mosque into a centre of generosity with a "relaxed atmosphere".
Mohammed Shafiq of the Ramadhan Foundation, a Muslim organisation which speaks out against extremism, said: "I utterly condemn the senseless and evil van attack against Muslim worshippers outside the Finsbury Park Mosque in London".
She said her thoughts were with the injured, their loved ones and emergency officials who responded to the incident.
One witness told CNN it was clear that the attacker at Finsbury Park had deliberately targeted Muslims. The mosque called it a "callous terrorist attack".
Meanwhile social media users have hit back over suggestions that the suspected attacker deserves to be called a martyr.
"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", he said.
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