What we know: Pedestrians struck in terror attack near London mosque

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London is once again waking up to another terror attack.

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.

“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.

UK Prime Minister Theresa May also called the incident a terror attack when she addressed reporters outside Downing Street Monday. Earlier, she chaired an emergency meeting of Cabinet members, police and security personnel, the Downing Street press office tells CNN.

What happened

— Just after midnight Monday, a van ran into a group of people in London’s Finsbury Park neighborhood.

— The driver of the van, a 48-year-old man, was held by people at the scene until police arrived. He has been arrested on suspicion of attempted murder, according to police.

— Police have not named the man arrested, but the van bears the logo and phone number for Pontyclun Van Hire in south Wales.

— Imam Mohammed Mahmoud of the Muslim Welfare House stopped an angry crowd from turning on the van driver, telling the furious mob: “Do not touch him.”

The investigation

— The Metropolitan police’s Counter Terrorism Command forces are investigating the incident, which happened during Ramadan.

— Two eyewitnesses tell CNN they saw three men in the van. One was detained and two left the scene, the witnesses said.

— Police said they’ve not identified any other suspects at the scene nor have any been reported to police.

— On its Twitter account, London’s Metropolitan Police said “#SevenSisters Rd #Finsburypark incident – At this early stage there are no other suspects, however the investigation continues.”

— The Metropolitan Police have deployed extra officers to “reassure communities, especially those observing Ramadan,” according to London Mayor Sadiq Khan.


— All of the victims were from the Muslim community, police said.

— One man was found dead at the scene, according to police, but it’s not clear if he was killed during the attack. Police said he was already receiving first aid when the attack unfolded.

— Two people were treated at the scene, May said, and eight others have been taken to three hospitals. Two of them are seriously injured.

The community

— Islington’s Seven Sisters Road, where the attack took place, is home to at least four mosques, and would have likely been filled with worshipers leaving late-night taraweeh prayers.

— The Islington borough of north London, of which Finsbury Park is a part, is home to a large Muslim community. Around 10% of the borough’s population is Muslim.

— Opened in 1994, Finsbury Park Mosque is an unassuming five-story red brick building in residential north London, close to Arsenal Football Club’s Emirates Stadium. The mosque, which today operates largely as a community center, rose to international notoriety in the early 2000s, due to its links with Egyptian-born radical cleric Abu Hamza al-Masri.

— Abu Hamza, who was the mosque’s imam from 1997 to 2003, was later extradited to the United States, where he was convicted of supporting al Qaeda and Taliban terrorists, and sentenced to life in prison in 2015.

— Since then, the mosque has worked to turn its reputation around and now operates mostly as a community center.


— Deputy Assistant Commissioner Neil Basu praised citizens who helped in the immediate aftermath of the attack: “Their restraint in the circumstances is commendable.”

— “All my thoughts are with the victims, their families and the emergency services on the scene,” said Prime Minister Theresa May, according to the UK Press Association.

–The Finsbury Park Mosque “condemns in the strongest terms” a “heinous terrorist attack” early Monday, according to a statement released by the mosque. The mosque called it a “callous terrorist attack.”

— London Mayor Sadiq Khan called the incident “a horrific terrorist attack.” In a statement Khan said, “While this appears to be an attack on a particular community, like the terrible attacks in Manchester, Westminster and London Bridge, it is also an assault on all our shared values of tolerance, freedom and respect.”

— “London is a city of many faiths and many nationalities. An attack on one community is an attack on all of us,” said Police Commissioner Cressida Dick.

— A statement released by the Muslim Council of Britain condemned what it described as a “terror attack.” “During the night, ordinary British citizens were set upon while they were going about their lives, completing their night worship. My prayers are with the victims and their families,” read the statement.

— The head of Tell MAMA, an anti-Islamophobia group, says anti-Muslim hate crime in the United Kingdom has increased noticeably after the recent terror attacks in Manchester and London.

— The Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, said “the appalling attack on Muslims in Finsbury Park is an attack on us all and on the culture and values of our country.”

— Jeremy Corbyn, the leader of Britain’s opposition Labour Party tweeted: “I’m totally shocked at the incident at Finsbury Park tonight. I’ve been in touch with the mosques, police and Islington council regarding the incident. My thoughts are with those and the community affected by this awful event.”

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