A man has been killed and eight people injured after an incident in which a lone man drove a van into Muslim worshippers near a north London mosque.
The attack took place at Finnsbury Park, outside Muslim Welfare House. According to police, all eight victims were Muslim. The incident is being treated as a hate crime, although many are insisting it counts as a terrorist attack. If so, it will be the fourth terrorist attack in four months.
A 48-year-old man has been arrested. An eyewitness that attacked and helped subdue the attacker revealed he shouted that he wanted to “kill all Muslims.” He was held down by a member of the public until police arrived. Police said he will be “subject of a mental health assessment in due course”.
The attack is thought to have began after the killer drove a van into a man already receiving first aid on the pavement from the public. Metropolitan Police’s deputy assistant commissioner Neil Basu said “sadly that man has died. It is too early to state if his death was a result of this attack.”
He added, “While this appears to be an attack on a particular community, like the terrible attacks in Manchester, Westminster and London Bridge it is also an assault on all our shared values of tolerance, freedom and respect.”
Harun Khan, the secretary general of the Muslim Council of Britain said: “Over the past weeks and months, Muslims have endured many incidents of Islamophobia, and this is the most violent manifestation to date.
“We expect the authorities to increase security outside mosques as a matter of urgency.”
Finnsbury Park is a largely multicultural and diverse area. Jeremy Corbyn, one of Finnsbury’s local MP’s, said “As the local MP, I have met with Muslim community leaders at the Muslim Welfare House alongside Islington Council Leader Richard Watts, the council’s Chief Executive Lesley Seary and the Metropolitan Police.
“Richard and I will attend prayers at Finsbury Park mosque later today.”