Witnesses have described the aftermath after a van was driven into pedestrians near a north London mosque, leaving one man dead and eight injured.
Witness Saeed Hashi described how he fought with the driver as he waited for police to arrive. “When I go to the prayers I am not going to walk down the road”.
The attack happened near the Finsbury Park Mosque in the early hours of Monday morning.
A group of Muslim men were praying on the pavement nearby. And then the guy came out of his van and I got him. The man who was being looked after subsequently died, but it is unclear whether his death was a result of the attack.
Cage, a Muslim human rights group, said there had been “an epidemic rise in anti-Muslim hate crimes” but called for calm “not to inflame an already volatile and distressing situation”.
British Home Secretary Amber Rudd says police “immediately” treated a fatal incident outside the mosque as a suspected terrorist attack.
May said she would chair an emergency security Cabinet session Monday.
The London Ambulance Service said eight people were taken to hospital and a number of people were treated at the scene for minor injuries.
But it was raided and shut down and later reclaimed by the local Muslim community, who have transformed it into a place which actively promotes better community relations across faiths. It has not been associated with radical views for more than a decade.
Hamza was given a six-year jail term at the Old Bailey in 2006 for inciting racial hatred and soliciting murder.
The neighborhood has two mosques, and several hundred worshipers would have been in the area after attending prayers as part of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, when Muslims fast from dawn to dusk and end the day with an iftar meal at sunset.
AFP reporters saw a helicopter hovering overhead and several emergency vehicles blocking a section of Seven Sisters Road, a busy thoroughfare. There were loads of people in the streets on the ground.
The white van ploughed into pedestrians near Muslim Welfare House and not far from the Finsbury Park Mosque at around 12:20am local time on Monday.
Some claim the man said, “I did my bit”, just after the crash as he was wrestled to the ground. The three Islamic extremists who carried out the attack were killed by police.
“One man was pronounced dead at the scene…”
What has the reaction been?
PM May condemned it as a “terrible incident”, while opposition Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn said he was “totally shocked” and had been in touch with mosques and police.
The force added: ” Due to the nature of this incident extra policing resources have been deployed in order to reassure communities, especially those observing Ramadan”. “We expect the authorities to increase security outside mosques as a matter of urgency”.
London Mayor Khan said following that attack that there had been a 40-percent increase in racist incidents in the city and a fivefold increase in the number of anti-Muslim incidents.
The Independent newspaper quoted witnesses said the vehicle veered off the road into crowds outside Finsbury Park Mosque, but it was unclear whether the collision was deliberate. Innocent people have lost their lives while just going about their business. His attack killed five people.
“I saw something that was horrendous, something we should not see the in the 21st Century, something we should not see in the last 10 days of Ramadan”, said Mohammed Abdul.
He said: “It is unhelpful for there to be speculation about the incident”. We call on all, including the media, to act responsibly at this time.
An imam from a Muslim centre close to where this morning’s terror attack took place has been praised for leading calls for people to stay calm and preventing a crowd from harming the Finsbury Park suspect.