Driver plows into crowd outside London mosque, injuring 10

Patrice Gainsbourg
Junho 20, 2017

London's Metropolitan Police said officers were called just after midnight Sunday to an incident on Seven Sisters Road.

Met Police Commissioner Cressida Dick said the incident was "quite clearly an attack on Muslims", and there would be more police, including armed officers, in the area, "particularly around religious establishments".

The Muslim Council said the incident was the most violent manifestation of Islamophobia in Britain in recent months and called for extra security at places of worship as the end of Ramadan nears.

Another witness, who wanted to be identified as Abdulrahman, which is not his real name, told the Press Association: "I managed to get the driver of the van".

"We found about 15 to 20 people on the scene tending to the injured, administering CPR on the brother who is now deceased, and three people restraining the assailant", he said, adding "they couldn't hold him down and push back the people trying to hit him, so we pushed those people back". An attack on one community affects us all.

Transportation officials said roads in the area were being closed. The first was when an attacker drove through pedestrians on Westminster Bridge in March, followed by the bombing at an Ariana Grande Concert in May, and most recently the London Bridge Attack.

A small crowd had gathered round to try and help him when the van was driven into them around 12:20am. All of the victims were Muslim, according to police.

"If you were interested in targeting a group of Muslims at a mosque that was notorious, this would be the mosque you would do it at".

The mosque itself gained notoriety more than a decade ago for sermons by radical cleric Abu Hamza al-Masri, who was sentenced to life in a US prison in January 2015 after being convicted of terrorism-related charges. "And that reputation may be more historical than current", he said.

"We are conscious there are a number of events planned across London and the rest of the United Kingdom and we continue to ensure that security plans are robust by working in partnership with all event organisers". "He chose exactly the time that people pray, and the mosque is too small and full, so some pray outside".

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- The Islington borough of north London, of which Finsbury Park is a part, is home to a large Muslim community.

The mosque from which worshippers were coming from before the attack has been at the center of controversy in the past.

The mosque, which opened in 1994, became a breeding ground for extremists including Zacarias Moussaoui, a Frenchman convicted for conspiracy to kill Americans, and Richard Reid, who tried to bring down an American flight with explosives packed in his shoes.

(AP Photo/Tim Ireland). A van is seen near Finsbury Park station after the vehicle struck pedestrians in north London, Monday June 19, 2017.

Resident Cynthia Vanzella said she was in bed when she heard people shouting.

"He was sitting and holding him like that, people kept holding him", Ali said.

An imam reportedly saved the van driver involved in the suspected Finsbury Park attack from being attacked by members of the public in the immediate aftermath of the crash.

"Today we come together - as we have done before? to condemn this act and to state once again that hatred and evil of this kind will never succeed", she said.

"I have nothing against Theresa May, and I have nothing against the Conservatives, but I think they need to step down", he said.

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