Thursday, 22 June, 2017

Man plows van into crowd by London mosque; 10 injured

Nellie Chapman | 20 June, 2017, 03:01

LONDON (AP) - In an attack that British Muslims say was aimed directly at them, a man plowed a van into a crowd of Muslim worshippers outside a north London mosque early Monday, injuring 10 people.

The van hit people who had been attending evening prayers at the Muslim Welfare House and the nearby Finsbury Park Mosque in north London, one of the biggest in Britain.

A van driven at speed into worshippers last night was 'quite clearly an attack on Muslims, ' police said.

British police said the incident was being investigated as a terror attack, which would make it the fourth such attack since March, including two van ramming and stabbing attacks on and near London Bridge, and a bomb attack outside an Ariana Grande concert in Manchester, England.

Khan said this afternoon that police resources in London are so stretched that officers on holiday are being called back to ensure there is an increased presence in the capital in response to the most recent terrorist incident.

May visited the Finsbury Park mosque to meet community leaders on Monday afternoon, but was heckled by local residents as she arrived.

The use of a vehicle to mow down pedestrians drew horrifying parallels with this month's London Bridge attack, when three men drove a van into pedestrians before embarking on a stabbing spree, and with another auto and knife rampage near parliament in March.

Meanwhile, an imam at the mosque has described how he had to step in to stop the suspect being attacked by an angry crowd immediately after the attack.

The Islington borough of North London, of which Finsbury Park is a part, is home to a large Muslim community.

The attack took place after worshipers had finished prayers during the holy month of Ramadan.

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

She promised action to stamp out all forms of hatred, saying there had been far too much tolerance of extremism in Britain over many years.

"He has further been arrested for the commission, preparation or instigation of terrorism including murder and attempted murder", Scotland Yard police headquarters said in a statement.

Security analyst Will Geddes told Sky News he believed the incident in Finsbury Park was a "clear-cut terrorist attack".

British security officials, speaking on condition of anonymity in line with official policy, said hate crimes directed at Muslims have increased almost five-fold in the wake of several attacks in Britain. "By God's grace we managed to surround him and to protect him from any harm", Mahmoud said. Many police cars and ambulances were responding.

"But I have to say the stress levels I have met already, from both people last night and this morning were just frightened, just frightened that something like this could happen again, and so we obviously need efficient and effective policing, we obviously need, also, an attitude in our society of support for each other".

Rather than turning on each other, several people we spoke to blamed the government for creating a climate in which attacks could take place.

But she didn't stop there: Rowling hasn't forgotten the anti-Muslim rhetoric that many prominent political figures in the United Kingdom have recently spread.

Though the London Metropolitan Police have not yet used the word "terrorism" to describe the incident, it is no less tragic or newsworthy.

"Malaysia extends its condolences to the families and loved ones of the victims of the horrific incident".

"In London, the intelligence functions and the investigative functions merged to become the Counter-Terror Command", he said.