One person has been killed and ten more injured after a white van driver ploughed into Muslim worshipers near a renowned north London mosque, in the latest terror attack to rock Britain.
A 48-year-old man has been arrested after the van – which was hired from south Wales, mounted the pavement and veered into a congregation near Finsbury Park Mosque shortly after they finished Ramadan evening prayers, known as Taraweeh.
Brave bystanders wrestled the suspect, who is clean-shaven with curly hair and wore a white t-shirt, to the floor and pinned him down until officers arrived, at around 12.20am, after he allegedly screamed: ‘I want to kill all Muslims’.
One fatality was confirmed at the scene, while a further eight are being treated across three London hospitals and two victims sustained minor injuries.
The congregation of victims were heroically trying to save an elderly man who had collapsed at a bus stop, according to eyewitnesses – it is unknown if this is the death recorded.
Emergency service crews were also seen giving cardiac massages to the injured in a desperate bid to save them, but unconfirmed reports that two other suspects fled the van were denied by police.
The police operation is being handled by counter-terrorism units, while the suspect has been taken to hospital and will be detained once he has been discharged, and will then face a mental health assessment.
Finsbury Park Mosque has undergone wholesale changes and become far more liberal under new leader Mohammed Kozbar, since the days when hook-handed hate preacher Abu Hamza was imam from 1997 until 2003.
Mr. Kozbar told The Sun: ‘Whoever did this, he did it to hurt people and it’s a terrorist attack. We call it a terrorist attack as we called it in Manchester, Westminster and London Bridge.’
Witnesses told Mail Online that they saw two additional suspects run away once the van had stopped, although these suggestions have now been quashed by the Met.
Atikur Arhman, 41, from Finsbury Park, said: ‘There was three people in there. They caught one and are looking for another two.
‘An elderly man who just came from the mosque, he just fainted and people were picking him up when the van he just sped up and ran them over when the guy was one the floor.’
‘It’s not safe anymore after what’s been happening. It’s not been safe to walk.
‘Two people ran away and one got taken away to the police.
Fabian Santana, 22, went to a nearby chicken shop before coming out and seeing the carnage unfold.
He said: ‘I went in the chicken shop and my friend was outside, when I come back outside the same guy who was standing next to my friend was on the floor.
‘If I didn’t go in the chicken shop I could have been done for.
‘I just feel like London for the last couple of weeks has not been safe. I’d rather go out of London.’
Jamal, 21, told Mail Online: ‘I think it’s terrible what happened in so many locations I don’t know if I’m going to be alive tomorrow, I’m worried what’s going to happen tomorrow, it’s scary
‘It’s not safe in London, total, 100 per cent it is not safe, I’m worried to come out of my house right now, it’s not safe.’
Jeremy Corbyn expressed his shock at the incident, which took place in the heart of his Islington North constituency.
He said: ‘I’m totally shocked at the incident at Finsbury Park tonight. I’ve been in touch with the mosques, police and Islington council regarding the incident.
‘My thoughts are with those and the community affected by this awful event.’
Prime Minister Theresa May described the attack as a ‘terrible incident’, adding: ‘All my thoughts are with those who have been injured, their loved ones and the emergency services on the scene.’
The Muslim Council of Britain condemned the attack as ‘the most violent manifestation’ yet of Islamophobia and called for extra security around mosques, which the Met has now promised.
Another witness, who gave his name as Andrew, a courier who did not wish to give his surname, said he saw three people on the floor and at least one of them appeared to be in Muslim dress.
The 45-year-old, of St Albans, Hertfordshire, said he was driving back from a night shift when he saw the aftermath of the collision.
Source: Daily Mail
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