One man died and 10 people were injured in the attack outside the Muslim Welfare House, in Finsbury Park.
A 48-year-old man has been arrested on suspicion of attempted murder
The area was busy with worshippers leaving evening prayers at Finsbury Park Mosque
The Metropolitan Police say all of the victims were Muslim
Muslim Council of Britain says van intentionally ran over worshippers returning from the mosque
One man has died and 10 people were injured after a van rammed into a crowd of worshippers outside the Muslim Welfare House very close to Finsbury Park Mosque, north London, in the latest terror attack to hit the UK this year.
Eyewitnesses reported tumultuous scenes as the incident unfolded after evening Ramadan prayers had finished at the mosque.
A 48-year-old man, was tackled to the ground by members of the public and arrested at the scene on suspicion of attempted murder.
Prime Minister Theresa May said the attack was directed at Muslims.
Security Minster Ben Wallace said the suspect was not known to the security services.
A group of people were helping a man who had collapsed when they were hit by the van just after midnight. The man has died, but it is unclear whether this was as a result of the attack.
May in her statement said that the attack was “every bit as sickening”.
It is claimed by witnesses at the scene that he ‘deliberately’ drove onto the pavement outside north London‘s Muslim Welfare House – yards from the Finsbury Park Mosque – and jumped out of the vehicle screaming ‘I’m going to kill all Muslims – I did my bit’.
Muslim Welfare House CEO Toufik Kacimi said the attacker shouted “I did my bit, you deserve it.”
However, as he tried to flee from the scene a group of men chased after him and were filmed pinning the suspect to the floor before dragging him along the road.
The unnamed white man in a blue T-shirt – who suffered injuries to his face – was filmed repeatedly shouting ‘kill me’ to the men who grabbed him after the attack.
An imam prevented other people at the scene from taking revenge on the man, Kacimi said. Further, officers were forced to hold back crowds after arresting the terror suspect who was smiling, waving and even blowing kisses.
The police have been praised for the ‘restraint’ shown in aftermath of this latest attack.
Residents in Finsbury Park had criticised authorities for not declaring the incident as terrorism soon enough, and police only announced they were treating it as terror more than eight hours after the event. However, speaking at Downing Street, May said police decided to treat the incident as a terror attack within eight minutes of receiving the first emergency call.
“This was an attack on Muslims near their place of worship and, like all terrorism in whatever form, it shares the same fundamental goal. It seeks to drive us apart and to break the precious bonds of solidarity and citizenship which we share in this country,” May said.
“We will not let this happen.” she has emphasised.
Benjamin David founded Conatus News in 2016. He currently works as an editor for Parliamentary Review.