A van blew up as they left a mosque in London on Sunday evening, June 18, 2017, killing at least one person and injuring several others in an incident that the Muslim Council of Britain said was a deliberate act of Islamophobia.
The car was run over by worshipers as they left the Finsbury Park mosque, one of Britain’s largest mosques, the council said.
British Prime Minister Theresa May said the police confirmed she was dealing with the incident as a possible terrorist attack and would chair an emergency meeting on Monday.
Police said one person was killed, 10 wounded and that the driver was 48 years old and that the citizens had held him until he was arrested and taken to hospital and that he would be evaluated for mental health.
Witnesses said the driver had shouted “I want to kill all Muslims” before onlookers pinned him to the ground. The suspect was protected by a local imam after being pinned down by members of the Muslim community.
Theresa May has vowed that “hatred and evil” of the kind seen in the attack on a north London mosque will never succeed. May said that the attack on Muslims was “every bit as insidious and destructive to our values and our way of life” as the recent string of terror attacks apparently motivated by Islamist extremism.
Labour leader and local MP Jeremy Corbyn spent much of the early morning at Muslim Welfare House, where the attack took place. He said: “I see it this is a terror on the streets … in the communities … We have to all reach out and feel their pain and their stress.”
Police said all the victims of the attack, which was in the area of Finsbury Park Mosque, were Muslim.
Mrs May said the driver of the van acted alone, adding: “Hatred and evil of this kind will never succeed.”
She also said that police declared it a terrorist incident within eight minutes, and that it was “an attack on Muslims near their place of worship”.
She added that “there has been far too much tolerance of extremism over many years”.
“It is a reminder that terrorism, extremism and hatred take many forms; and our determination to tackle them must be the same whoever is responsible.”
Eyewitness Abdul Rahman said the driver had said he wanted to “kill all Muslims” and told the BBC he struck the man and helped subdue him.
By Bashiir Addow Ahmed