UK POLITICS: ‘I Am Going to Kill All Muslims’: Driver Ploughs Van into Worshippers at Finsbury Park Mosque London

Politicoscope
By Politicoscope June 19, 2017 10:09




Breaking News Alerts: Sign Up



UK POLITICS: ‘I Am Going to Kill All Muslims’: Driver Ploughs Van into Worshippers at Finsbury Park Mosque London

A van ploughed into worshippers leaving a London mosque on Monday, injuring 10 people in what witnesses said was a deliberate attack on Muslims. One man, who was already being given first aid at the scene before the vehicle was driven into pedestrians, has died but police said it was not clear whether his death was directly linked. Eight others are in hospital, with two in a very serious condition.

The incident was being treated as a potential terrorist attack said Prime Minister Theresa May, which if confirmed would make it the fourth since March in Britain and the third to involve a vehicle deliberately driven at pedestrians.

“This had all the hallmarks of a terrorist incident,” said Neil Basu, senior national co-ordinator for counter-terrorism policing. “This was an attack on London and all Londoners.”

Shortly after midnight, the hired vehicle swerved into a group of people leaving prayers at the Finsbury Park Mosque, one of the biggest in the country, witnesses said. The attack comes during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan. (For a map of the area click: tmsnrt.rs/2rGBIlw)

“This big van just came and went all over us,” witness Abdulrahman Saleh Alamoudi told BuzzFeed News. “He (the driver) was screaming… ‘I’m going to kill all Muslims’.”

Police said the suspected van driver, aged 48, had been detained by members of the public before being arrested on suspicion of attempted murder.

“I would like to thank those people who helped police in detaining the man and worked with officers to calmly and quickly get him into our custody,” Basu said. “Their restraint in the circumstances was commendable.”

Eight people were taken to hospital and two were treated at the scene. Usain Ali, 28, who was near the mosque at the time, said he heard a bang and ran for his life.

“When I looked back, I thought it was a car accident, but people were shouting, screaming and I realised this was a man choosing to terrorise people who are praying,” he told Reuters. “He chose exactly the time that people pray, and the mosque is too small and full, so some pray outside.”

ATTACKS, POLITICAL TURMOIL
The attack comes at a time of political turmoil in Britain, as May, weakened by the loss of her parliamentary majority in a June 8 election, plunges into divorce talks with the European Union.

She has faced heavy criticism for her response to a fire in a London tower block last Wednesday which killed at least 58 people, and for her record on security after a series of attacks blamed on Islamist militants in recent months.

“All my thoughts are with the victims, their families and the emergency services on the scene,” May said, adding that she would chair an emergency response meeting later on Monday.

The mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, said extra police had been deployed to reassure communities, especially those observing Ramadan, describing the attack as “an assault on all our shared values of tolerance, freedom and respect”.

The leader of the opposition Labour Party, Jeremy Corbyn, in whose constituency the attack took place, said he was “totally shocked”.

The incident comes just over two weeks after three Islamist militants drove into pedestrians on London Bridge and stabbed people at nearby restaurants and bars, killing eight..

It also follows a suicide bombing at a pop concert in Manchester, northern England, in May which killed 22, while in March, a man drove a rented car into pedestrians on Westminster Bridge in London and stabbed a policeman to death before being shot dead. His attack killed five people.

Police had said hate crimes had risen after the London Bridge attack and they had stepped up their visible presence at places of worship.

The Muslim Council of Britain said Monday’s attack was the most violent manifestation of Islamophobia in Britain in recent months and called for extra security at places of worship.

“It appears that a white man in a van intentionally ploughed into a group of worshippers who were already tending to someone who had been taken ill,” the council said in a statement.

“HE TARGETED MUSLIMS”
Police said they were called just after 12:20 a.m. (2320 GMT Sunday) to reports of a collision on Seven Sisters Road, which runs through the Finsbury Park area of north London.

“From the window, I started hearing a lot of yelling and screeching, a lot of chaos outside … Everybody was shouting: ‘A van’s hit people, a van’s hit people’,” one woman who lives opposite the scene told the BBC.

The Evening Standard newspaper said the van appeared to have been rented in Wales, although there was no immediate confirmation of this from the authorities.

Miqdaad Versi, assistant secretary general of the Muslim Council of Britain, said the van had deliberately swerved into a group of people who were helping a man who was ill and had fallen to the ground.

“Basically, a van swerved into them deliberately,” Versi told Reuters, citing a witness.

He said the driver had run out of the van but a group of people caught him and held him until police arrived.

The Finsbury Park Mosque gained notoriety more than a decade ago for sermons by radical cleric Abu Hamza al-Masri, who was sentenced to life in a U.S. prison in January 2015 after being convicted of terrorism-related charges.

A new board of trustees and management took over in February 2005, a year after Abu Hamza was arrested by British police, since when attendance has greatly increased among worshippers from various communities, according to the mosque’s website.

Members of the congregation in the two mosques in the area are mainly from North and West Africa.

– Reuters

Incident in Finsbury Park: Metropolitan Police Statement

Latest 08:30hrs on 19 June
Commissioner, Cressida Dick, said:

“London has woken up to the news of another appalling attack on our city.

“My thoughts are with the family of the man who has died and with all those who were injured.

“My officers were on the scene almost immediately, and other uniformed and specialist officers quickly arrived to support them. They worked quickly with colleagues from the other emergency services to treat the injured.

“I want to thank all those members of the public who assisted police and emergency services in our task.

“There is now an ongoing investigation by our Counter Terrorism Command to establish why this attack was carried out.

“London is a city of many faiths and many nationalities. An attack on one community is an attack on all of us.

“Terrorists will not succeed in their attempts to divide us and make us live in fear.”

“Extra officers are on duty in the area to help reassure the local community. They will be there for as long as they are needed.

“Communities will see additional officers patrolling across the city and at Muslim places of worship. We are working as hard as we can to protect all our communities, and we will not be defeated.”

Latest at 08:27hrs on 19 June
Speaking to media this morning Deputy Assistant Commissioner Neil Basu, the Senior National Coordinator for Counter Terrorism, said:

“Sadly Londoners are waking to the news of another dreadful incident in the Capital that has left a number of people seriously injured.

The attack unfolded whilst a man was receiving first aid from the public at the scene, sadly, he has died.Any causative link between his death and the attack will form part of our investigation.It is too early to state if his death was as a result of the attack.

“Our thoughts are with all those affected by the incident at Seven Sisters Road and their family, friends and their communities.

“No matter what the motivation proves to be, and we are keeping an open mind, this is being treated as a terrorist attack and the Counter Terrorism Command is investigating.

“This was an attack on London and all Londoners and we should all stand together against extremists whatever their cause.

“From 00:21hrs this morning police received a number calls to Seven Sisters Road following a van having collided with pedestrians.

“Officers were in the immediate vicinity as the attack unfolded and responded instantly. Additional officers arrived within 10 minutes.

“One man was pronounced dead at the scene. Eight others are in hospital and two more were treated at the scene.

“All the victims were from the Muslim community.

“I would like to praise police officers who immediately gave life saving treatment at the scene, but also members of the public who assisted before and after the incident.

“Also at the scene, detained by members of the public, was the man suspected of being the driver.

“He was arrested by police on suspicion of attempted murder.

“I would like to thank those people who helped police in detaining the man and worked with officers to calmly and quickly get him into our custody.

“Their restraint in the circumstances was commendable.

“This investigation is ongoing, and we are working fast to know the full details of how and why it took place.

“At this early stage of the investigation, no other suspects have been identified or reported to police, and there were no reports of any people having suffered any knife injuries.

“The van used was examined by specialist officers but nothing that would cause a risk to the public was found in it.

“Extra policing resources have been deployed across London in order to reassure communities, especially those observing Ramadan.”

“I would urge everyone to remain calm and vigilant.

“I would ask the public with any information about this incident, or anything that causes them concern or suspicion, to call the police on 0800 789 321.

“Obviously we are at an early stage in our investigation, however as and when I can make more information available, I will.

“This has been incredibly challenging time for London and emergency services are stretched.

“Nevertheless, we will do absolutely all we can – with our partners – to protect Londoners and our city

“Now is a time once again for London to stand together to face those who seek to divide us.”

Latest at 04:46hrs on 19 June
The investigation into the circumstances of the incident in Seven Sisters Road in Finsbury Park is ongoing.

Police were called just after 0020hrs 19 June to reports of a van in collision with pedestrians.

Officers attended alongside other emergency services and found and tended to a number of casualties.

One man was pronounced dead at the scene. Officers are in the process of informing next of kin. A post mortem examination will be scheduled due course.

Eight people injured were taken to three separate hospitals; two people were treated at the scene for minor injuries.

At this stage there are no reports of any persons having suffered any knife injuries.

The driver of the van – a man aged 48 – was found detained by members of public at the scene and then arrested by police in connection with the incident.

He has been taken to hospital as a precaution, and will be taken into custody once discharged.

A number police units are at, and managing the cordons around, the crime scene, including local officers and those from neighbouring boroughs – supported by armed officers and the Territorial Support Group.

The investigation of the incident is being carried out by the Counter Terrorism Command.

At this early stage of this investigation, no other suspects at the scene have been identified or reported to police, however the investigation continues.

Due to the nature of this incident extra policing resources have been deployed in order to reassure communities, especially those observing Ramadan.

Any witnesses, or anyone with any information, can contact police via 101, or via Twitter @MetCC.

To give information anonymously call Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 or visit crimestoppers-uk.org.

When more information has been confirmed as accurate, it will be released as appropriate in due course.

Latest at 01:03hrs on 19 June
Police were called just after 0020hrs 18 June to reports of a vehicle in collision with pedestrians.

Officers are on scene with other emergency services.

There are a number of casualties being worked on at the scene.

There has been one person arrested.

Enquiries continue.

More information will be released when confirmed.

What Other Topics Do Readers Like After Reading this Stories?

– Metropolitan Police


Up Next on Politicoscope

Share this Article: "UK POLITICS: ‘I Am Going to Kill All Muslims’: Driver Ploughs Van into Worshippers at Finsbury Park Mosque London"

Politicoscope
By Politicoscope June 19, 2017 10:09

What's on Your Mind?