Police identify Finsbury Park mosque suspect as 47yo Darren Osborne

Author

20 June, 2017

Police are treating the incident as a terrorist attack.

The chairman of the Finsbury Park Mosque says the van crash that hit worshippers was a "cowardly attack" and urged Muslims going to mosques to be vigilant.

Speaking to reporters Monday, the imam, Mohammed Mahmoud, said he and others acted to "extinguish any flames of anger or mob rule that would have taken charge had this group of mature brothers not stepped in".

The driver of the van was apprehended by those at the scene and many people came to the aid of the victims.

"I saw him on the news and I thought "Oh my God" that is my neighbour". Eight of the injured were taken to hospital and two were treated at the scene.

Police said they were called just after 12:20 a.m. (2320 GMT) to reports of a collision on Seven Sisters Road, which runs through the Finsbury Park area of the city. He complained that the "mainstream media" was unwilling to call the attack a terrorist incident for many hours. Khan also declared that British officials have "zero tolerance" for hate crimes.

At the time of the attack, several hundred worshippers were on the streets in the area after attending prayers as part of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan. "They will be there for as long as they are needed".

"This was an attack on Muslims near their place of worship", May said in a televised address.

Police said a suspect was quickly and calmly turned over to the police, and that no one else was found in the van.

Authorities said the driver of the van was arrested on suspicion of attempted murder. It was not immediately clear why no charge had been made in relation to the one death. Eight people were killed and dozens were wounded before police fatally shot the three attackers.

After the London Bridge attack, city mayor Sadiq Khan's office reported a 40 percent increase in racist incidents in the capital and a five-fold increase in anti-Muslim incidents.

It is the fourth terror attack in the United Kingdom in four months, after incidents in Westminster, Manchester and on London Bridge. The mosque was shut down and reorganized in 2005 and has not been linked to extremist views.

They said more officers would be deployed to provide reassurance to mosques.

It is located a short walk away from Emirates Stadium, home of the Arsenal football club in north London.

Prime Minister Theresa May said her thoughts were with those injured in "this awful incident". "We treat this as a terrorist attack and we in the Met are as shocked as anybody in this local community or across the country at what has happened".

The use of a vehicle to mow down pedestrians drew horrifying parallels with the London Bridge attack, when three men drove a van into pedestrians before embarking on a stabbing spree, as well as with another auto and knife rampage in Westminster in March.


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