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Finsbury Park Mosque: 'Pontyclun Van Hire' on vehicle

Finsbury Park Mosque: 'Pontyclun Van Hire' on vehicle”

(Victoria Jones/PA via AP).

Men pray after a vehicle collided with pedestrians near a mosque in the Finsbury Park neighborhood of North London, Britain June 19, 2017.

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.

Here's what we know so far about an incident in which a van drove into pedestrians near Finsbury Park Mosque, north London, in the early hours of Monday morning, injuring several people. The chaos outside the Finsbury Park Mosque follows three Islamist-inspired attacks over the past three months that have triggered a surge in hate crimes around Britain.

- One man was found dead at the scene, according to police, but it's not clear if he was killed during the attack.

"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".

Police said the 48-year-old white man who was driving the van that hit those leaving evening prayers at the Finsbury Park mosque has been arrested on suspicion of attempted murder. Police have not released his identity.

"This is being treated as a terrorist attack and the Counter-Terrorism Command is investigating", said Deputy Assistant Commissioner Neil Basu, senior national coordinator for counter-terrorism policing. Muslim leaders called for calm.

Mayor Sadiq Khan, London's first Muslim mayor, urged residents to focus on their shared values and to stand together during an unprecedented period in the capital's history.

On June 3, Islamic extremists used a vehicle and then knives to kill eight people and wound dozens of others on London Bridge and in the popular Borough Market area.

This time, however, the attacker appears to have deliberately targed at Muslims.

"While this appears to be an attack on a particular community, like the awful attacks in Manchester, Westminster and London Bridge it is also an assault on all our shared values of tolerance, freedom and respect", he said.

Mohammed Shafiq of the Ramadhan Foundation, a Muslim organization, said that based on eyewitness reports, it seems to be a "deliberate attack against innocent Muslims".

It was the latest in a series of statements from Ms May that suggest she believes recent attacks have strengthened the case for her widely-criticised plans to regulate the online world.

The Telegraph online in its report claimed the victim was an "elderly Bangladeshi man" who had just left the Muslim Welfare Mosque on Seven Sisters Road. "This person was conscious".

"Many will feel terrorised, no doubt be angry and saddened by what has taken place tonight".

The attack laid bare the frustrations of Muslims who feel they've been unfairly equated with the extremists who carry out atrocities in the name of Islam. "He targeted Muslims this time", the witness, identified only as Rayan, said.

According to charity Tell MAMA which records anti-Muslim incidents, one mosque is attacked every two weeks in the UK. "I don't think people understand how much these attacks affect all of us".

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 USA prison in January 2015 for his conviction on terrorism-related charges.

- Opened in 1994, Finsbury Park Mosque is an unassuming five-story redbrick building in residential north London, close to Arsenal Football Club's Emirates Stadium.

May said she would chair an emergency security Cabinet session Monday.

Prime Minister Theresa May said: "All my thoughts are with those who have been injured, their loved ones and the emergency services on the scene".

Britain's terrorist alert has been set at "severe", meaning an attack is highly likely.

- "London is a city of many faiths and many nationalities".

Witnesses described hearing the man, who was detained by members of the public at the scene, shout: "I'm going to kill Muslims".

In March, a man plowed a rented SUV into pedestrians on Westminster Bridge, killing four people before stabbing a police officer outside Parliament.



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