London: 1 dead in retribution attack on mosque

In an apparent act of revenge, a man drove his van into a group of people near a mosque in London. One man is dead and 10 people were wounded. 

A man drove his van into a group of people near the Finsbury Park mosque in London early Monday morning in an apparent act of retribution in the wake of several recent Islamic terror attacks in the city. One person died and 10 others were wounded

British Police said the attacker is a 48-year-old man who was arrested and taken to a hospital. They are investigating the incident as suspected terrorism, saying that the crash has all the “hallmarks” of a “terrorist” incident.

No other suspects were detained.

Mosques in the area were full at the time of the incident, which occurred during the holy month of Ramadan.

‘I Want to Kill All Muslims’

The UK’s Guardian quoted a witness who said the driver had shouted, “I want to kill all Muslims,” before being pinned to the ground by civilians.

Initial news on the incident indicated the attacker was carrying a knife, but police dispelled those reports.

One witness told the Guardian he and his friends had stopped to help an elderly man who was lying on the floor when the incident occurred. Police are investigating whether the death was caused by the crash or the result of other causes.

Video filmed in the immediate aftermath of the apparent attack showed a Caucasian man being detained by police. Someone in the crowd yelled to others not to harm the suspect while he was taken into custody. Another person, perhaps one of the arresting police officers, was heard yelling, “No one touch him! No one! No one!”

Mohammed Kozbar, chairman of the Finsbury Park Mosque, said the incident was a “cowardly attack” and urged Muslims going to mosques to be vigilant.

Kozbar said the attack was no different than the recent Islamic attacks on London Bridge and Manchester Arena, adding that the Muslim community is “in shock.”

London Mayor Sadiq Khan denounced the incident as “a horrific terrorist attack on innocent people… this was clearly a deliberate attack on innocent Londoners, many of whom were finishing prayers during the holy month of Ramadan.”

“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,” Sadiq stated.

This incident comes after three Islamic terror attacks in Britain in less than three months.

Earlier this month, three terrorists rammed a van into pedestrians on London Bridge and stabbed others nearby, killing seven and wounding some 50, 21 of them critically, before police shot them dead.

Before that, a suicide bomber killed 22 people, including children, at an Ariana Grande concert in Manchester.

In March, Khalid Massood attacked parliament and pedestrians on Westminster Bridge and murdered five.

British Prime Minister Theresa May announced she will chair an emergency session of the security Cabinet later Monday.

“All my thoughts are with the victims, their families and the emergency services on the scene,” May stated.

By: Aryeh Savir, World Israel News
AP contributed to this report.