DEBKAfile Special Report June 19, 2017, 12:35 PM (GMT+02:00)
Police arrested one person after a van ran over worshippers outside Finsbury Park Mosque in north London early Monday. Police report one dead, 10 people injured. Witnesses said that three men were in the van and one jumped out armed with a knife and stabbed people. Many of the victims had just left evening prayers at the mosque, one of the biggest in Europe, after breaking the Ramadan fast.
Police were on the scene within minutes and stayed there until the crowd began to disperse..
The attack appeared to be in revenge against the British Muslim community for the wave of Islamist terrorist incidents in recent months. One Muslim worshipper at Finsbury Park told reporters: “The crowd caught a guy. He tried to do a London Bridge thing.” The attack came weeks after three Islamist terrorists plowed a van into pedestrians on London Bridge before rampaging through a nearby market with knives, killing eight people before being shot by police.
The Muslim Council of Britain said the van intentionally ran over worshippers. Prime Minister Theresa May and opposition leader Jeremy Corbyn expressed shock over the incident and said their thoughts and prayers were with the victims and their families..
The casualty toll was later corrected to one dead and eight injured. The London police did not immediately report on the attack. After several hours, the defined it as a “terrorist incident,” and the suspect arrested was described as a man of 48 who was held on suspicion of murder and sent for psychiatric examination.
As a result, the Muslim community of London went into a fury of protest. The unrest over the London mosque attack followed closely on the angry demonstrations ongoing in central London after a 24-floor tower in Kensington went up in flames last Wednesday. This disaster, which was blamed on the authorities, left least 30 people dead, 68 still missing after three days of intensive searches, and scores of families bereft of their homes and possessions.