Terror attack was UK’s ‘worst example of Islamophobia’
Following a terrorist attack in London that targeted Muslims near a mosque in the early hours of this morning, Harun Khan, of the Muslim Council of Britain, said on Twitter:
The Financial Times reports that this latest attack in the capital occurred near a Muslim community centre in north London. The Muslim Council of Britain said the attack came as worshippers were leaving the nearby Finsbury Park Mosque, which was ending late-night Ramadan prayers.
One man was declared dead at the scene, though police said it was unclear if he was killed by the van. Ten others were hurt, with police saying two had suffered life-threatening injuries. All the victims were Muslim, police said.
A 48-year-old white man was arrested, said police, who were called to the area at 21 minutes after midnight after receiving reports of a vehicle hitting pedestrians on Seven Sisters Road. Several witnesses to the attack said the man, who was detained by locals until police arrived, shouted:
I want to kill Muslims.
The incident comes just two weeks after three Islamists drove a van through pedestrians near London Bridge in south-east London; the knife-wielding attackers went on a rampage, killing eight and injuring 48.
After chairing an emergency meeting of security services, Prime Minister Theresa May said the authorities believe the attacker acted alone. She said in a statement that the incident:
It is a reminder that terrorism, extremism and hatred take many forms; and our determination to tackle them must be the same whoever is responsible.
As I said here two weeks ago, there has been far too much tolerance of extremism in our country over many years – and that means extremism of any kind, including Islamophobia.
That is why this Government will act to stamp out extremist and hateful ideology – both across society and on the internet, so it is denied a safe space to grow.
It is why we will be reviewing our Counter-Terrorism strategy and ensuring that police and security services have the powers they need.
And it is why we will establish a new Commission for Countering Extremism as a statutory body to help fight hatred and extremism in the same way as we have fought racism – because this extremism is every bit as insidious and destructive to our values and our way of life and we will stop at nothing to defeat it.
Police said the unidentified assailant, who they believe was the only attacker in the van despite witness accounts of others, was taken to hospital for a mental health assessment