Culture

'He must have done it on purpose': Witnesses describe Finsbury Park attack

A van ploughed into worshippers leaving a London mosque just after midnight (around 7am Singapore time), injuring 10 people in what witnesses said was a deliberate attack on Muslims.

The Metropolitan Police stated on Monday morning that it is investigating the vehicle ramming incident outside of a mosque in London as a terror attack because all of the evidence is pointing to a terrorist motive.

"It will be concerning for members of the public here in Northumbria but we want to reassure people that there is nothing to suggest there is any specific threat to our communities in Northumbria".

Earlier this month, three men who pledged allegiance to the Islamic State terrorist group, rammed a van into pedestrians on London Bridge before stabbing passers-by, killing eight.

(AP Photo/Tim Ireland). A van is seen near Finsbury Park station after the vehicle struck pedestrians in north London, Monday June 19, 2017. London police are investigating it as a terrorist incident. Many police cars and ambulances were responding. Most of those hit were said to have been aiding an elderly man who was already lying on the ground suffering from what is thought to have been cardiac arrest.

"During the night, ordinary British citizens were set upon while they were going about their lives, completing their night worship".

Counter-terror officials said they were closely monitoring terror activity linked to far-right groups but most of the recent attacks have been traced to individuals rather than groups. "It appears from eyewitness accounts that the perpetrator was motivated by Islamophobia", he said.

"A man was taken ill and they were trying to help him, that is why there was a large crowd and visibly you can tell people are Muslims, I am not going to say the countries but they were clearly Muslim".

The Foreign Ministry also stressed Qatar's rejection of all criminal acts that terrorize innocent people and contravene all human values and principles.

Courageous bystanders wrestled the suspect to the floor outside the Muslim Welfare House in Finsbury Park and pinned him down police officers arrived.

In a statement issued around six hours after the incident, Finsbury Park Mosque condemned the "heinous" act and said they are "extremely unhappy with the mainstream media not reporting this as a terrorist attack".

"Mohammed was the hero of the day, he was the one who contained the guy and held him up until the police came and took him away", Kacimi told the Standard.

Police have said the crash caused several casualties and that one person has been arrested.

All of the injured were members of the Muslim community, he said.

"I feel insecure, but one thing I'll never do is take off my hijab", she says.

Meanwhile, Harud Khan, Secretary-General of the Muslim Council of Britain, tweeted he was "shocked and outraged to hear a van has intentionally run over worshippers leaving Ramadan night prayers". One man died at the scene and 10 people were injured.

Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn, who represents the area, uses the mosque as a place to meet with residents.

Amin said that when people seized the driver, "he was shouting: 'All Muslims, I want to kill all Muslims.' Literally, he said that".



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