Published: Mon, June 19, 2017
Global News | By Stacy Ballard

Mosque imam saves driver from angry mob after terror attack

In the hours after a white 48-year-old man ploughed a van into a congregation as they finished late night prayers, local leaders and members of the Muslim community warned about rising anti-Muslim sentiment.

The incident came after two terror attacks in London in the past three months involving vehicles plowing into crowds of people, as well as the suicide bombing attack at a Manchester pop concert in May.

A witness, Abdiqadir Warra, told AFP that the van "drove at people" and that some of the victims were carried for several metres along the road. One suspect has been taken into custody, as London's mayor says extra police have been called in.

The Ministry added that the Government condemned the attack on innocent civilians at the Finsbury Park mosque.

-The Finsbury Park Mosque "condemns in the strongest terms" a "heinous terrorist attack" early Monday, according to a statement released by the mosque Monday.

British Prime Minister Theresa May said she would chair an emergency meeting Monday morning following the van crash.

United Kingdom officials treating mosque attack as terrorism
Another eyewitness, Mohamad, said he and others in the community are anxious about returning to the area for prayer on Tuesday. Ten people remain in the hospital, two of which are said to be in critical condition. "Or we might have to even not come".

I said, 'We are not going to kill you.

The injured have been taken to three different hospitals, and two were treated at the scene for minor injuries, Metropolitan Police officers said.

A van has collided with pedestrians outside the well-known Finsbury Park Mosque in London, injuring several people. "I didn't see the attacker himself, although he seems to have been arrested, but I did see the van". "When he was running, he said 'I want to kill more people, I want to kill more Muslims, '" he said.

Police said a 48-year-old man was quickly and calmly turned over to the police, and that no one else was found in the van.

Mr Rahman told the BBC he struck the man and helped subdue him until the police arrived.

The Independent reported witnesses' accounts of the van veering off the road into crowds of worshippers as they left special Ramadan prayers shortly after midnight.

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He didn't want to stand out, he took orders like he did in the Army and he came home every night to my mom and me. Our relationship with him is extremely special one, because we all aspire to be like him someday.

Police say no other suspects have been identified, but their investigation continues.

The incident comes at a time when emotions are high in the United Kingdom, in the wake of a series of deadly terrorist attacks. The site of the incident is close to another mosque near the Finsbury Park on the same road. "This is being treated as a terrorist attack and the Counter-Terrorism Command is investigating", said Neil Basu, senior national coordinator for terrorism.

The use of a vehicle to mow down pedestrians drew horrifying parallels with the London Bridge attack, when three men drove a van into pedestrians before embarking on a stabbing spree, as well as with another auto and knife rampage in Westminster in March.

"We have been informed that a van has run over worshipers as they left #FinsburyPark Mosque", the Muslim Council of Britain said on Twitter.

The Muslim Council of Britain called what happened a "violent manifestation of Islamophobia". Many police cars and ambulances responded to the incident.

The leader of Britain's opposition Labour Party, Jeremy Corbyn - in whose constituency the attack took place - said he was "totally shocked" by the attack.

Van Incident at London Mosque, Several People Injured
She said on Saturday the response to the fire, in which at least 58 people were killed on Wednesday, had been "not good enough". Another witness called Khalid told BBC Breakfast onlookers lifted up the van to help a man who was trapped underneath.

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