One dead, 10 injured after driver plows into crowd outside London mosque
LONDON (AP) — A driver plowed into a crowd of Muslim worshippers outside a north London mosque early Monday in an attack that police said they were investigating as a terrorist incident.
Ten people were injured and police said a man died at the scene, though he was receiving first aid at the time and it wasn’t clear if he died as a result of the attack or something else.
Police said the 48-year-old man who was driving the van that hit people leaving evening prayers at the Finsbury Park mosque has been arrested and taken to a hospital as a precaution. He was arrested on suspicion of attempted murder. Police have not released his identity. Eight of the injured were taken to hospitals, police said.
Metropolitan Police Deputy Assistant Commissioner Neil Basu said police are investigating whether the death of the man who was being given first aid was a direct result of the attack, but it was too early to say for sure.
London’s Mayor Sadiq Mayor Khan, the first Muslim to serve in that position, urged the public to focus on shared values and the city to stand together in an unprecedented period in the capital’s history. The attack hits a community already feeling targeted in the fallout from the London Bridge killings and other attacks blamed on Islamic extremists.
“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,” Khan said. “The situation is still unfolding and I urge all Londoners to remain calm and vigilant.”
The Finsbury Park mosque was associated with extremist ideology for several years after the 9/11 attacks in the United States, but was shut down and reorganized. It has not been associated with radical views for more than a decade.
Prime Minister Theresa May said she would chair an emergency security Cabinet session Monday. She said her thoughts were with the injured, their loved ones and emergency officials who responded to the incident.
Britain’s terrorist alert has been set at “severe,” meaning an attack is highly likely.