A van hit pedestrians on Fonthill Road near Finsbury Park station outside a mosque in London late Sunday, killing one person and injuring another 10 people in what authorities consider to be a terrorist act. All 10 injured - two of whom are in critical condition - were from the Muslim community, authorites said. British Prime Minister Theresa May called the attack a “terrible incident.”
Metropolitan Police Deputy Assistant Commissioner Neil Basu said Monday that a man was pronounced dead at the scene in northern London but warned it was too early to tell if his death was related. Other sources were not as cautious.
A 48-year-old driver of the van was detained by members of the public at the scene. Basu, the senior coordinator for counter terrorism, said it appeared the man was the sole attacker and commended those who made the citizen's arrest.
Basu said this was an attack on London and all Londoners, and we should all stand together against extremists whatever their cause. He added that what it proves to me is that Londoners will act together to protect themselves, but they will do so in a way that doesn't feed into terrorists' and extremists' hands.
A Metropolitan Police statement said that they were called just after 0020hrs [23:20 GMT] ... to reports of a vehicle in collision with pedestrians, and that due to the nature of the attack, extra policing resources have been deployed in order to reassure communities, especially those observing Ramadan. 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.
Eight of the injured were taken to hospitals and the rest were treated at the scene, police sources explained. The driver of the van had also been taken to hospital. Two of the victims were severely injured, police said.
The leader of Britain's opposition Labour Party, Jeremy Corbyn - in whose constituency the attack took place - said he was totally shocked and that he has been in touch with mosques, the police and the local council regarding the incident.
Harun Khan, secretary general of the Muslim Council of Britain, said that based on accounts from witnesses the driver was motivated by Islamophobia. He also called for stronger security measures. Given we are approaching the end of the month of Ramadan and the celebration of Eid with many Muslims going to local mosques, we expect the authorities to increase security outside mosques as a matter of urgency, Khan said in a statement.
The UK has seen a bombing of a concert in Manchester in May, a stabbing spree earlier this month in the London Bridge area and a March attack in which a man drove a car into crowds on Westminster Bridge.