UK: Muslim Welfare House terror attack: Man dies as van ploughs into worshippers

19th Jun 2017
UK: Muslim Welfare House terror attack: Man dies as van ploughs into worshippers

By Elham Asaad Buaras

 

London, (The Muslim News): A man has died and 10 people have been injured after white van ploughed 11 worshippers leaving a Muslim Welfare House in north London, in what Metropolitan police have called a Terrorist attack

 
The Metropolitan Police said eight people had been taken to hospital after the collision at the junction of Whadcoat Street and Seven Sisters Road, Finsbury Park on June 19.

 
Police arrested a man who was held by members of the public. Eye witnesses say the driver of the van shouted: “I want to kill Muslims” as he ploughed pedestrians at 12.15am.

 
Adil Rana, 24, said: “The van was driving towards us to try and basically hit us at speed. When he got arrested, he was taunting, saying, ‘I’d do it again, I’d do it again’.”

 
The Metropolitan Police’s Deputy Assistant Commissioner, Neil Basu, said: “This is being treated as a terrorist attack and the Counter Terrorism Command is investigating.”

 
DAC Basu added: “The attack unfolded whilst a man was receiving first aid from the public at the scene. Sadly, he has died. Any causative link between his death and the attack will form part of our investigation. It is too early to state if his death was as a result of the attack.”

 
The 48-year-old man suspected of being the van driver was arrested on suspicion of attempted murder. He was taken to hospital as a precaution and will undergo a mental health assessment.

 
Prime Minister Theresa May who chaired an emergency Cobra meeting said, “All my thoughts are with the victims, their families and the emergency services on the scene.”

 
London Mayor Sadiq Khan said: “All of these are attacks on our shared values of freedom, of tolerance and of respect… and terrorism is terrorism, whether someone’s inspired by an Islamist narrative or other forms of ‘inspiration’.”

 
Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn said he had been in touch with local mosques, police and the council following the incident, which took place in his constituency and near his home.

 
“My thoughts are with those and the community affected by this awful event,” Corbyn added.

 
Chief Executive of the Muslim Welfare House, Toufik Kacimi, said the man had to be rescued by the imam at the centre to stop him being attacked. Kacimi said when he did so, the driver said to him: “I’ve done my bit.”

 
Chair of Finsbury Park mosque nearby Mohammed Kozbar described the incident as “a cowardly attack which is no different than the attacks in Manchester and London, our community is in shock, our thought and prayer with those who have been effected by this”

 
Muslim Council of Britain (MCB) condemned the terrorist attack adding it was a “violent manifestation” of rising Islamophobia.

 

Secretary General of MCB, Harun Khan, said: “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. It appears from eye witness accounts that the perpetrator was motivated by Islamophobia.”

 
He added, “Over the past weeks and months, Muslims have endured many incidents of Islamophobia, and this is the most violent manifestation to date. 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.

 
Muslim communities have been calling for increased action to tackle the growth in hate crime for many years and transformative action must now be taken to tackle not only this incident but the hugely worrying growth in Islamophobia.”

 

[Photo: Photograph shows place [where police vans are] where the terrorist ploughed into the worshippers leaving Muslim Welfare House on Finsbury Park Road, London, using a van after prayers at 12.20 Monday morning 19 June 2017. Photographer: Ahmed J Versi/The Muslim News]

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