Finsbury Park terror suspect is father-of-four from Wales

Father-of-four Darren Osborne from Cardiff has today been named as the suspect behind the Finsbury Park terror attack

Father-of-four Darren Osborne from Cardiff has today been named as the suspect behind the Finsbury Park terror attack

Father-of-four Darren Osborne from Cardiff has today been named as the suspect behind the Finsbury Park terror attack

The mother of the Finsbury Park terror suspect has today slammed this morning’s attack and described it as an ‘atrocity’.

Father-of-four Darren Osborne, 47, has been named locally as the man accused of ploughing a van into a group of Muslim worshippers. 

It is alleged that Osborne – who was not known to police and MI5 – hired an £80-a-day van from South Wales before driving down to the Muslim Welfare House in north London.

There, he is accused of mounting the pavement just yards from the Finsbury Park Mosque and mowing down a group of British Muslims who had been helping an unwell man. 

Witnesses say that, after the attack, he shouted ‘I’m going to kill all Muslims – I did my bit’ as he was restrained by members of the community.  

Neighbours today said Osborne is a ‘devoted father’ who was last seen collecting his children from his former partner’s and taking them to school on Friday. 

His mother and other relatives still live in Weston-super-Mare. 

Ten people were injured in the attack – including two who were said to be disabled – and one man has since died. 

Speaking after the attack, his mother said that she had not seen her son in about one month. 

She said: ‘I’m not going to defend him but he is my son and it’s a shock. It’s not just robbing a bank it’s an atrocity.’

It has also been revealed that Osborne split from his partner six months ago.  

Today, police were seen standing guard outside a house in Glyn Rhosyn, Pentwyn, where Osborne is believed to have lived with his partner.

Osborne, who was taken to hospital last night as a precaution, was arrested this morning on suspicion of attempted murder.

He has now been further arrested on suspicion of the commission, preparation or instigation of terrorism including murder and attempted murder.

According to public records, Osborne was born in Singapore in 1969. 

He is believed to have grown up in Weston-super-Mare, Somerset, but later moved to South Wales. He is said to have separated from his partner six months ago. 

One former school friend, who attended Broadoak Mathematics and Computing College with Osborne, said he had known him for more than three decades.

Referring to a picture of the suspect at the scene of the attack, he told MailOnline: ‘I’ve known him for 35 years, I grew up with him. It’s 100% him. He lives in Wales, he has four kids and his partner.’ 

Neighbour Pauline Tibbs, 48, said it had been a ‘terrible shock’.

‘The police have been back and forth here all day. It’s a terrible shock,’ she said. ‘I’ve seen him walking in the street but never spoken to him. He seemed normal enough. He has lived here a couple of years and kept himself to himself.’

And another man who lived near Osborne’s home said: ‘I arrived home from work to find the street crawling with police – it’s a complete shock.’ 

Footage shows the alleged driver of the van being arrested at the scene and bundled into a police van - he screamed 'kill me' in the hope witnesses to his Islamophobic attack would seek retribution

Footage shows the alleged driver of the van being arrested at the scene and bundled into a police van - he screamed 'kill me' in the hope witnesses to his Islamophobic attack would seek retribution

Footage shows the alleged driver of the van being arrested at the scene and bundled into a police van - he screamed 'kill me' in the hope witnesses to his Islamophobic attack would seek retribution

Footage shows the alleged driver of the van being arrested at the scene and bundled into a police van - he screamed 'kill me' in the hope witnesses to his Islamophobic attack would seek retribution

The 47-year-old is believed to have grown up in Weston-super-Mare, Somerset, but is now said to live in Cardiff, South Wales

Osborne is alleged to have hired the van from Pontyclun Van Hire, 15 miles away from his home in the Welsh capital.

Owners at the company today hit out at the ‘cowardly’ attack, saying they were ‘shocked and saddened’ that one of their vehicles was used in the attack. 

It is then claimed that he ploughed his white van into a crowd of Ramadan worshippers helping an elderly man who collapsed in the heat, killing one and injuring at least ten more at 12.20am this morning.

The suspect – who suffered a black eye and cuts to his face and hands – was later filmed repeatedly shouting ‘kill me’ to the men who grabbed him.

Officers held back crowds after arresting the terror suspect who was smiling, waving and even blowing kisses, with police today praising the ‘restraint’ shown in aftermath of the van attack.

Witnesses said he ‘deliberately’ drove onto the pavement outside north London‘s Muslim Welfare House – yards from the Finsbury Park Mosque – and jumped out of the cab shouting ‘I’m going to kill all Muslims – I did my bit’.

But as he tried to run from the scene a group of men gave chase and were filmed pinning the suspect to the floor before dragging him along the road as bodies lay strewn across the ground.

The group were leaving taraweeh, late night prayers observed during the festival of Ramadan, when the van struck. One victim was stuck under its wheels and a group managed to life the vehicle and pull him out.   

The revelation came as a hero Imam described how he prevented a mob attack on the suspect just moments after Muslim worshippers were mown down outside the mosque. 

Muslim leader Mohammed Mahmoud stepped in when an angry crowd attempted to ‘kick and punch’ the suspect as he was being restrained by three men following the suspected terror attack. 

Mr Mahmoud said he and a ‘group of brothers’ had managed to ‘extinguish any flames of mob rule’ as members of the public attempted to hurt the alleged terrorist ‘from every angle’.

He added that, despite tensions running high, the suspect – who is white – had come away ‘unscathed’ and remained ‘calm and silent’ as he was arrested by officers.  

Mr Mahmoud told the BBC: ‘By God’s grace we managed to surround him and to protect him from any harm.

‘We stopped all forms of attack and abuse towards him that were coming from every angle.’

Mr Mahmoud said that, while the chaos unfolded, a police car drove past which he and some others managed to flag down.

Today, police were seen standing guard outside a house in Cardiff home, which Osborne is believed to have previously shared with his partner

Today, police were seen standing guard outside a house in Cardiff home, which Osborne is believed to have previously shared with his partner

Today, police were seen standing guard outside a house in Cardiff home, which Osborne is believed to have previously shared with his partner

Police are searching the property as part of the investigation into the Finsbury Park attack. Only one arrest has been made

Police are searching the property as part of the investigation into the Finsbury Park attack. Only one arrest has been made

Police are searching the property as part of the investigation into the Finsbury Park attack. Only one arrest has been made

‘We told them the situation,’ he continued. ‘We said ‘he is restrained, he mowed people down with a van, there is a mob attempting to hurt him, if you don’t take him God forbid he might be seriously hurt.

‘We pushed people away from him until he was safely taken by police into custody and put in the back of the van.

‘It wasn’t me alone – there was a group of brothers who were calm and collected and managed to calm people down and to extinguish any flames of anger or mob rule that would’ve taken charge had this group of mature brothers not stepped in.’

Police confirmed that one person – an elderly man was being helped by a group of people after collapsing outside the mosque – has died. Officers are still investigating whether the man’s death was linked to the terror attack.

But, today, Mr Mahmoud described how the man had ‘regained consciousness’ moments before the van ploughed into the road.

He also revealed that the deceased’s brother was treated for injuries at the scene.

He said: ‘The van drove perpendicular to Seven Sisters road. It drove at a 90 degree angle to the direction of the road – it was enough to make some people fly off under the side.

‘It dragged two people underneath him – one they were worried might be paralysed because he could not feel his arms and legs.’ 

Earlier, the imam was hailed as the ‘hero of the day’ by Toufik Kacimi, chief executive of the Muslim Welfare House, for calming the angry crowd.

It is claimed he told them: ‘Don’t hit him – you do not touch him – hand him into the police’. At the time, the suspect was allegedly shouting: ‘I want to kill all Muslims – I did my bit’ before telling crowds: ‘Kill me, kill me’. 

Scotland Yard has since praised the ‘restraint’ of the crowds who protected the alleged killer before the police arrived to arrest him.  

Police were forced to hold back crowds as the Finsbury Park attacker was arrested and put in the back of a van following this morning's terror attack

Police were forced to hold back crowds as the Finsbury Park attacker was arrested and put in the back of a van following this morning's terror attack

Police were forced to hold back crowds as the Finsbury Park attacker was arrested and put in the back of a van following this morning's terror attack

Police were forced to hold back crowds as the Finsbury Park attacker was arrested and put in the back of a van following this morning's terror attack

Police were forced to hold back crowds as the Finsbury Park attacker was arrested and put in the back of a van following this morning’s terror attack

Police are investigating a suspected terror attack after this hired van ploughed into people outside the Muslim Welfare House in Finsbury Park, north London, in what has been described as a 'deliberate and horrific terror attack on innocent people'

Police are investigating a suspected terror attack after this hired van ploughed into people outside the Muslim Welfare House in Finsbury Park, north London, in what has been described as a 'deliberate and horrific terror attack on innocent people'

Police are investigating a suspected terror attack after this hired van ploughed into people outside the Muslim Welfare House in Finsbury Park, north London, in what has been described as a ‘deliberate and horrific terror attack on innocent people’

Police gather evidence on the pavement where victims were knocked down including a show belonging to one man hurt in the attack

Police gather evidence on the pavement where victims were knocked down including a show belonging to one man hurt in the attack

Police gather evidence on the pavement where victims were knocked down including a show belonging to one man hurt in the attack

As he spoke to cameras, the imam added the community was staying calm in the wake of the attack.

‘This community of ours is mild mannered and a calm community, not known for our violence. Our mosques are incredibly peaceful,’ he said. 

‘We will do our utmost to calm down any tensions. But, immediately after the incident, people were calm, people were praying for the victims of the attack and everybody knew there was nothing they could do but pray for them.’

He added that it had been a ‘tragic and barbaric attack’ while proved that the ‘demonisation’ of the Muslim community was ‘succeeding’.  

‘To hear him say ‘I did my bit’ may be proof that this demonisation of the Muslim community by those who wish to divide this city have succeeded to some extent in influencing the vulnerable to think we must be eliminated,’ he said.

‘We just hope that in times of tragedy people come together and unite.’  

Today, it emerged that police were force to hold back crowds after they arrested the suspect while he smirked and tried to goad witnesses to his Islamophobic attack into killing him. 

Scotland Yard has said they are treating the white van attack as a terrorist incident and assistant commissioner Neil Basu today praised the ‘restraint’ of those who detained the suspect at the scene and handed him over to police. 

This morning, outside Downing Street the Prime Minister Theresa May described the Finsbury Park as ‘another terrorist attack on the streets of London – every bit as sickening as those that have come before.’  

Speaking outside 10 Downing Street, Mrs May said the attack had ‘once again targeted the ordinary and the innocent going about their daily lives – this time, British Muslims as they left a mosque, having broken their fast and prayed together at this sacred time of year’.

The attack is fourth terror attack in Britain since March – one in Manchester and three in London – claiming 36 lives so far. 

She added: ‘Today we come together, as we have done before, to condemn this act and to state once again that hatred and evil of this kind will never succeed.’

Mrs May said that the attack on Muslims was ‘every bit as insidious and destructive to our values and our way of life’ as the recent string of terror attacks apparently motivated by Islamist extremism, adding: ‘We will stop at nothing to defeat it.’

She later visited the mosque and spoke to faith leaders with Met Commissioner Dick.   

As details of the attack emerged, the Muslim Council of Britain condemned the incident – which took place shortly after the congregation finished Ramadan evening prayers – as ‘the most violent manifestation’ yet of Islamophobia and called for extra security around mosques.

The Met Police has now vowed to put extra security around mosques at this ‘sensitive time’ as Muslims continue to mark the holy month of Ramadan. Mr Basu said it was an ‘incredibly challenging time for London’ with emergency services ‘stretched’ but that officers would do all they could to keep people safe. 

London Mayor Sadiq Khan also urged people to ‘remain calm and vigilant’ and Metropolitan Police Commissioner Cressida Dick has said the attack was ‘quite clearly an attack on Muslims’. 

Footage shows the alleged driver of the van being arrested at the scene and bundled into a police van - he screamed 'kill me' in the hope witnesses to his Islamophobic attack would seek retribution 

Footage shows the alleged driver of the van being arrested at the scene and bundled into a police van - he screamed 'kill me' in the hope witnesses to his Islamophobic attack would seek retribution 

Footage shows the alleged driver of the van being arrested at the scene and bundled into a police van – he screamed ‘kill me’ in the hope witnesses to his Islamophobic attack would seek retribution 

Shocking: This is the moment the Finsbury Park mosque terror suspect turned to the crowd from inside the van and was filmed blowing a kiss to them and said: 'I want to kill all Muslims - I did my bit'

Shocking: This is the moment the Finsbury Park mosque terror suspect turned to the crowd from inside the van and was filmed blowing a kiss to them and said: 'I want to kill all Muslims - I did my bit'

Shocking: This is the moment the Finsbury Park mosque terror suspect turned to the crowd from inside the van and was filmed blowing a kiss to them and said: 'I want to kill all Muslims - I did my bit'

Shocking: This is the moment the Finsbury Park mosque terror suspect turned to the crowd from inside the van and was filmed blowing a kiss to them and said: 'I want to kill all Muslims - I did my bit'

Shocking: This is the moment the Finsbury Park mosque terror suspect turned to the crowd from inside the van and was filmed blowing a kiss to them and said: ‘I want to kill all Muslims – I did my bit’

This dramatic footage shows the suspect being pinned to the floor by worshippers (left) before being handed over to police (right)

In footage taken at the scene, bystanders are seen pinning the suspect to the ground and held him until police arrived

In footage taken at the scene, bystanders are seen pinning the suspect to the ground and held him until police arrived

In another clip, the suspect is seen waving as he is bundled into the back of a police van (pictured)

In another clip, the suspect is seen waving as he is bundled into the back of a police van (pictured)

In footage taken at the scene, worshippers are seen pinning the suspect to the ground and held him until police arrived (left). In another clip, the suspect is seen waving as he is bundled into the back of a police van (right)

Two police officers are seen helping a victim towards an ambulance car as devastated worshippers watch on in horror following last night's attack

Two police officers are seen helping a victim towards an ambulance car as devastated worshippers watch on in horror following last night's attack

Two police officers are seen helping a victim towards an ambulance car as devastated worshippers watch on in horror following last night’s attack

Video posted online of the aftermath of the attack show scenes of chaos as people tried to help the injured.

One man could been seen giving CPR to a victim in the street while another man’s head injury was treated with a makeshift dressing. People could be heard shouting and screaming amid the chaos and bloodstains were visible on the pavement.  

Further dramatic footage from the scene shows the suspect – who was described as looking ‘indifferent’ and ‘like he didn’t care’ – waving as he is bundled into the back of a police van. 

At the time of the attack, which was just after midnight, several people were heroically giving first aid to an elderly member of the public who had collapsed at the bus stop with a medical issue.  

Other witnesses to the attack early on Monday morning have also described how they wrestled the suspected terrorist to the ground – but stopped others from hitting him until officers took over.

Adil Rana, 24, who was outside the mosque when the van drove towards the crowd, said the driver gestured towards and mocked the crowds as he was taken away by police.

He added: ‘When he got arrested, he was taunting, saying: ‘I’d do it again, I’d do it again.”

Describing the initial moments after the van careered into pedestrians, he went on: ‘The driver jumped out and then he was pinned down to the floor and people were punching him and beating him, which was reasonable because of what he’s done.

‘And then the imam of the mosque actually came out and said: ‘Don’t hit him, hand him over to the police, pin him down’.’ 

Theresa May  has called the terror attack - the fourth in Britain since March - 'sickening' and said Islamophobia appears to have been the motive before visiting the mosque this afternoon 

Theresa May  has called the terror attack - the fourth in Britain since March - 'sickening' and said Islamophobia appears to have been the motive before visiting the mosque this afternoon 

Theresa May has called the terror attack – the fourth in Britain since March – ‘sickening’ and said Islamophobia appears to have been the motive before visiting the mosque this afternoon (pictured with the Met Commissioner Cressida Dick and Rabbi Herschel Gluck, president of Shomrim in Stamford Hill (right) with Toufik Kacimi, chief executive of the Muslim Welfare House (second right)

The terror attack is in Jeremy Corbyn's Islington constituency and he also went to the mosque to meet faith leaders and members of the congregation

The terror attack is in Jeremy Corbyn's Islington constituency and he also went to the mosque to meet faith leaders and members of the congregation

The terror attack is in Jeremy Corbyn's Islington constituency and he also went to the mosque to meet faith leaders and members of the congregation

The terror attack is in Jeremy Corbyn's Islington constituency and he also went to the mosque to meet faith leaders and members of the congregation

The terror attack is in Jeremy Corbyn’s Islington constituency and he also went to the mosque to meet north London’s faith leaders and members of is Muslim congregation

Forensics teams have sealed off the area where the van ploughed through a crowd and into this dead-end street before the attacker jumped out

Forensics teams have sealed off the area where the van ploughed through a crowd and into this dead-end street before the attacker jumped out

Forensics teams have sealed off the area where the van ploughed through a crowd and into this dead-end street before the attacker jumped out

The vehicle in question appears to have been rented from a company based in Wales, Pontaclun Van Hire

The vehicle in question appears to have been rented from a company based in Wales, Pontaclun Van Hire

The vehicle in question appears to have been rented from a company based in Wales, Pontaclun Van Hire

Police forensic officers examining the van involved in the attack: British Home Secretary Amber Rudd said police 'immediately' treated the incident as a suspected terrorist attack

Police forensic officers examining the van involved in the attack: British Home Secretary Amber Rudd said police 'immediately' treated the incident as a suspected terrorist attack

Police forensic officers examining the van involved in the attack: British Home Secretary Amber Rudd said police ‘immediately’ treated the incident as a suspected terrorist attack

The local community have been making signs and leaving messages celebrating the diversity of the area in the wake of the attack

The local community have been making signs and leaving messages celebrating the diversity of the area in the wake of the attack

The local community have been making signs and leaving messages celebrating the diversity of the area in the wake of the attack

The local community have been making signs and leaving messages celebrating the diversity of the area in the wake of the attack

The local community have been making signs and leaving messages celebrating the diversity of the area in the wake of the attack

Flowers have began to pile up in Finsbury Park after a van hit worshippers in north London praying during Ramadan

Flowers have began to pile up in Finsbury Park after a van hit worshippers in north London praying during Ramadan

Flowers have began to pile up in Finsbury Park after a van hit worshippers in north London praying during Ramadan

Today, Toufik Kacimi, chief executive of the Muslim Welfare House (pictured), said the suspect had shouted 'I did my bit' after carrying out the attack

Today, Toufik Kacimi, chief executive of the Muslim Welfare House (pictured), said the suspect had shouted 'I did my bit' after carrying out the attack

Today, Metropolitan Police deputy assistant commissioner Neil Basu (pictured) said the only confirmed fatality was a man who was receiving first aid at a bus stop at the time of the incident. It is not yet known if his death was caused by the attack

Today, Metropolitan Police deputy assistant commissioner Neil Basu (pictured) said the only confirmed fatality was a man who was receiving first aid at a bus stop at the time of the incident. It is not yet known if his death was caused by the attack

Toufik Kacimi, chief executive of the Muslim Welfare House (pictured left), said the suspect had shouted ‘I did my bit’ after carrying out the attack – Metropolitan Police deputy assistant commissioner Neil Basu (right) praised the ‘restraint’ of those who restrained the suspect

Officers are today pictured at the scene as police confirmed last night's attack is being treated as a terrorist incident 

Officers are today pictured at the scene as police confirmed last night's attack is being treated as a terrorist incident 

Officers are today pictured at the scene as police confirmed last night’s attack is being treated as a terrorist incident 

Pictured above is details of the vans available at Pontyclun Van Hire in Pontyclun, South Wales, from where the van used in the attack was hired. The website says anyone hiring a car will need to take a driving licence and a document with an address

Pictured above is details of the vans available at Pontyclun Van Hire in Pontyclun, South Wales, from where the van used in the attack was hired. The website says anyone hiring a car will need to take a driving licence and a document with an address

This is Pontyclun Van Hire

This is Pontyclun Van Hire

Pictured above are details of the vans available (left) at Pontyclun Van Hire in Pontyclun, South Wales (right), from where the van used in the attack was hired. The website says anyone hiring a car will need to take a driving licence and proof of address

The van was first seen on Seven Sisters Road in north London were it mounted a pavement yards from the area's mosque hitting an elderly man who had collapsed in the heat

The van was first seen on Seven Sisters Road in north London were it mounted a pavement yards from the area's mosque hitting an elderly man who had collapsed in the heat

The van was first seen on Seven Sisters Road in north London were it mounted a pavement yards from the area’s mosque hitting an elderly man who had collapsed in the heat

Jeremy Corbyn was overcome with emotion as he visited the scene of the terror attack in his north London constituency

Jeremy Corbyn was overcome with emotion as he visited the scene of the terror attack in his north London constituency

Jeremy Corbyn was overcome with emotion as he visited the scene of the terror attack in his north London constituency

Jeremy Corbyn was overcome with emotion as he visited the scene of the terror attack in his north London constituency

Jeremy Corbyn was overcome with emotion as he visited the scene of the terror attack in his north London constituency

Flowers are pictured at the scene of the attack. This note describes the crime as 'hideous' and says: 'This crime is not who we are'

Flowers are pictured at the scene of the attack. This note describes the crime as 'hideous' and says: 'This crime is not who we are'

Flowers are pictured at the scene of the attack. This note describes the crime as ‘hideous’ and says: ‘This crime is not who we are’

Footage captured on mobile phones at the scene shows the van driver being held on the ground as people call for police.

A man can be heard urgently shouting: ‘No-one touch him – no-one! No-one!’

Abdulrahman Saleh Alamoudi said he was among a group of people helping an elderly worshipper who had fallen down, perhaps because of the heat, when the van swerved towards them.

He told BuzzFeed News: ‘Luckily I managed to escape. And then the guy came out of his van and I got him.

Finsbury Park terror attack came after warnings of anti-Muslin backlash

Sajid Javid speaks to an Imam at the scene of a terror attack in Finsbury Park today as he said the Government was supporting the Muslim community in the wake of the attack

Sajid Javid speaks to an Imam at the scene of a terror attack in Finsbury Park today as he said the Government was supporting the Muslim community in the wake of the attack

Sajid Javid speaks to an Imam at the scene of a terror attack in Finsbury Park today as he said the Government was supporting the Muslim community in the wake of the attack

The van attack yards from Finsbury Park Mosque follows warnings of an unprecedented anti-Muslim backlash after recent terrorist atrocities.

Police in London recorded a spike in the number of Islamophobic incidents in the wake of the London Bridge outrage earlier this month, with 20 recorded on June 6 – compared with a daily average of 3.5.

It was the highest daily tally for 2017, and also higher than the numbers registered after the Paris attacks in November 2015, and the murder of Lee Rigby in May 2013.

In a speech last week, a former police chief warned that anti-Muslim sentiment online has been ‘relentless’ following the London Bridge attack on June 3.

Mak Chishty, an ex-Metropolitan Police commander who had been the country’s most senior Muslim officer before his retirement, said: ‘The backlash has been something of a different scale.’

While the circumstances and suspected motivations behind the Finsbury Park incident are yet to be made clear, it comes amid mounting concern over far-right extremism in the UK.

Warnings that the threat could be growing were raised after the conviction of Thomas Mair for the murder of Labour MP Jo Cox last year.

The Government’s Prevent and Channel programmes, which work to intervene before individuals are drawn into violent extremism, have seen a rise in the number of referrals linked to far-right ideology.

Counter-terrorism police have said that, while the threat is not of the same gravity as that posed by Islamic State or al Qaida, there are extreme right-wing groups attempting to provoke violence and sow discord.

Figures on terror-related arrests have shown an increasing number of white suspects are being held.

In the year to the end of March, there were 113 arrests of white people, compared with 68 in the year before – an increase of 66%.

The white ethnic group accounted for 37% of all terrorism-related arrests in the 12 months, compared with 26% in the previous year.

Statistics on individuals’ ethnicity are not broken down by type of suspected extremism.

Dr Alan Mendoza, executive director of the Henry Jackson Society think tank, said: ‘Coming a year after the murder of Jo Cox, we have witnessed what appears to be another hateful act in the community.

‘It is looking increasingly likely that this is the latest example of a growing threat of far-right extremism in the UK.

‘The Government must ensure urgently the security services have all the resources they need to investigate and prevent extremism-inspired attacks of whatever origin.’ 

‘He was screaming, he was saying: ‘I’m going to kill all Muslims, I’m going to kill all Muslims.’ He was throwing punches.

‘Then we managed to get him on the floor. Then he was saying,: ‘Kill me, kill me.’ I said: ‘We are not going to kill you. Why did you do that?’ He wouldn’t say anything.’

Mr Salah Alamoudi said he had also helped to hold the suspect on the ground for up to half an hour before police arrived.

‘The guy, I had to keep him at least half an hour. He was a strong guy. A big man,’ he said. 

Eyewitness Hussain Ali, 28, said that, while being restrained, the man was protected by the people he is thought to have been targeting.

He said: ‘The leader of the mosque said: ‘You do not touch him’. He was sitting and holding him like that, people kept holding him.’ 

The police then arrived and cuffed him.

As well as the one confirmed fatality, police said a further eight casualties are being treated across three London hospitals for ‘serious injuries’ while two victims sustained minor injuries and were treated at the scene.

Mr Basu also confirmed that the probe was being handled by terror the Counter Terrorism Command. Prime Minister Theresa May confirmed the incident is being treated as a potential terror attack and called an emergency meeting of the Cobra Committee.

Speaking this morning outside Scotland Yard, Mr Basu said: ‘Sadly Londoners are are waking up to the news of another dreadful incident in the capital that has left a number of people seriously injured.   

‘This was an attack on London and all Londoners and we should all stand together against extremists whatever their cause. Now is a time to unite those who seek to divide us.’

He added: ‘I would like to praise the police officers who immediately responded gave life saving treatment at the scene, but also very much those members of the public who assisted before and after this incident.

‘At the scene, detained by members of the community, was the man suspected of being the driver. He has been arrested on suspicion of attempted murder.

‘I would like to thank those people who helped police in detaining the man and who worked with officers to calmly and quickly get him in to our custody. Their restraint in the circumstances is commendable.’

Confirming the fatality, he added that the incident unfolded while a man was already receiving first aid.

‘Any causative link between his death and the attack will form part of the investigation. It is too early to say whether his death is a result of the attack,’ he added. 

Today, Toufik Kacimi, chief executive of the Muslim Welfare House, said the suspect had shouted ‘I did my bit’ after carrying out the attack.

He told Sky News: ‘After the event, he did say ‘I did my bit’. It means he is not mentally ill, he is conscious, he did what he did deliberately to hit and kill as many Muslims as possible.’

He added that the imam – who had been leading the evening prayer, known as taraweeh – had saved the suspect’s life after he ploughed the van into a wall and fences and other members of the public began beating him. 

‘He hit almost a wall and fences at the end of the road because it was a dead road. So people grabbed him outside and starting hitting him,’ he added. 

‘Our imam went there and saved the life of the attacker. There is a wild video which you can see filmed by one of our worshippers and you can see clearly our imam saving the life of this guy and the guy at this time was saying ‘I did my bit’.’ 

Another witness, who wanted to be identified as Abdulrahman, which is not his real name, said he was one of the people who helped to remove the driver from the van.

‘He wanted to run away and was saying, ‘I want to kill Muslims’,’ he said.

‘So he came back to the main road and I managed to get him to the ground and me and some other guys managed to hold him until the police arrived, for about 20 minutes I think, until the police arrived.’

Abdulrahman claimed the driver said ‘kill me’ as he was held on the ground.   

Abdikadar Warfa said he also helped to detain the suspect while his friends helped victims.

‘I saw a man underneath the van. He was bleeding. My friend said he had to lift the van, I was busy with a man who tried to escape. My friend said he said some words, but I didn’t hear it,’ he said.

‘They (people who were hit) were mostly young. They are very bad. I tried to stop him (the suspect), some people were hitting him but I said stop him and keep him until the police came.

‘He was trying to run away but people overpowered him. He was fighting to run away.’

Local resident Abdul Abdullah, 18, who was also at the scene, described the suspect as looking ‘indifferent’ and ‘like he didn’t even care’. 

Britain's Shadow Home Secretary Diane Abbott (pictured) was seen leaving Finsbury Park Mosque in London on Monday 

Britain's Shadow Home Secretary Diane Abbott (pictured) was seen leaving Finsbury Park Mosque in London on Monday 

Britain’s Shadow Home Secretary Diane Abbott (pictured) was seen leaving Finsbury Park Mosque in London on Monday 

Ms Abbott, 63, arrived at the mosque after the terror attack in the early hours of Monday morning when a van struck a number of people 

Ms Abbott, 63, arrived at the mosque after the terror attack in the early hours of Monday morning when a van struck a number of people 

Ms Abbott, 63, arrived at the mosque after the terror attack in the early hours of Monday morning when a van struck a number of people 

Police were called just after midnight to reports of a vehicle in collision with pedestrians in Seven Sisters Road - it later emerged it was another terror attack

Police were called just after midnight to reports of a vehicle in collision with pedestrians in Seven Sisters Road - it later emerged it was another terror attack

Police were called just after midnight to reports of a vehicle in collision with pedestrians in Seven Sisters Road – it later emerged it was another terror attack

After the attack the man was reportedly tackled by civilians, and a crowd of angry bystanders gave him to police

After the attack the man was reportedly tackled by civilians, and a crowd of angry bystanders gave him to police

After the attack the man was reportedly tackled by civilians, and a crowd of angry bystanders gave him to police

A pile of blankets can be seen, amid fears that there may have been fatalities in the attack 

A pile of blankets can be seen, amid fears that there may have been fatalities in the attack 

A pile of blankets can be seen, amid fears that there may have been fatalities in the attack 

The Prime Minister is chairing an emergency meeting of the Cobra Committee this morning, as Sadiq Khan ordered more police to be deployed

The Prime Minister is chairing an emergency meeting of the Cobra Committee this morning, as Sadiq Khan ordered more police to be deployed

The Prime Minister is chairing an emergency meeting of the Cobra Committee this morning, as Sadiq Khan ordered more police to be deployed

A police cordon has been set up at Seven Sisters Road this morning as officers flood the scene outside the Muslim Welfare House

A police cordon has been set up at Seven Sisters Road this morning as officers flood the scene outside the Muslim Welfare House

A police cordon has been set up at Seven Sisters Road this morning as officers flood the scene outside the Muslim Welfare House

Heavily armed police officers remain at the scene this morning as leaders called for security to be stepped up at mosques

Heavily armed police officers remain at the scene this morning as leaders called for security to be stepped up at mosques

Heavily armed police officers remain at the scene this morning as leaders called for security to be stepped up at mosques

A police forensic tent has been erected at Finsbury Park as counter-terrorism units take over the investigation 

A police forensic tent has been erected at Finsbury Park as counter-terrorism units take over the investigation 

A police forensic tent has been erected at Finsbury Park as counter-terrorism units take over the investigation 

Brave bystanders wrestled the suspect out of his van and to the ground, while they waited for police officers to arrive

Brave bystanders wrestled the suspect out of his van and to the ground, while they waited for police officers to arrive

Brave bystanders wrestled the suspect out of his van and to the ground, while they waited for police officers to arrive

Dozens of paramedics raced to the scene in the early hours, as several casualties were taken to hospitals around the capital

Dozens of paramedics raced to the scene in the early hours, as several casualties were taken to hospitals around the capital

Dozens of paramedics raced to the scene in the early hours, as several casualties were taken to hospitals around the capital

‘Distraught’ Corbyn is overcome with emotion at scene of Finsbury Park terror attack as Theresa May condemns it as ‘every bit as sickening’ as other killings and ‘an attack on British Muslims’ 

Theresa May has condemned the Finsbury Park terror attack as ‘every bit as sickening’ as the other incidents which have rocked Britain in recent months. 

Speaking on the steps of Number 10 on another bloody day for the capital, the Prime Minister described the incident as ‘an attack on British Muslims’ which sought to destroy one of the country’s ‘fundamental freedoms’.

Mrs May also acknowledged that this morning’s attack – which police believe was carried out by a lone wolf – falls at a ‘difficult time’ for London, in the wake of the London Bridge terror attack and the ‘unimaginable’ Grenfell Tower tragedy.

But she hailed London as an ‘extraordinary city of extraordinary people’ which was ‘determined never to give in to hate’. 

Her comments came as Jeremy Corbyn visited the scene of the attack – which sits in his north London constituency – where he was overcome with emotion as he talked to residents. 

Mrs May address to the nation came after she issued her first response to the attack before 4am – less than four hours after the incident took place.

The rapid response was in stark contrast to a leaden response to the Grenfell fire disaster which forced her to apologise on Saturday. 

Theresa May has condemned the Finsbury Park terror attack as 'every bit as sickening' as the other incidents which have rocked Britain in recent months

Theresa May has condemned the Finsbury Park terror attack as 'every bit as sickening' as the other incidents which have rocked Britain in recent months

Theresa May has condemned the Finsbury Park terror attack as ‘every bit as sickening’ as the other incidents which have rocked Britain in recent months

Jeremy Corbyn arrived at the scene today (pictured) to comfort his constituents. Mr Corbyn, who is MP for the area, is due at a prayer service later

Jeremy Corbyn arrived at the scene today (pictured) to comfort his constituents. Mr Corbyn, who is MP for the area, is due at a prayer service later

Jeremy Corbyn arrived at the scene today (pictured) to comfort his constituents. Mr Corbyn, who is MP for the area, is due at a prayer service later

The Labour leader wept as he comforted constituents on his home patch today just hours after the terrorist attack near Finsbury Park mosque 

The Labour leader wept as he comforted constituents on his home patch today just hours after the terrorist attack near Finsbury Park mosque 

The Labour leader wept as he comforted constituents on his home patch today just hours after the terrorist attack near Finsbury Park mosque 

Mrs May said: ‘This attack targeted the ordinary and the innocent going about their ordinary lives, this time British Muslims as they left a mosque after breaking their fast at this sacred time of year.

‘This was an attack on Muslims near their place of worship and like all terrorism in whatever form it shares the same fundamental goal – it seeks to drive us apart and break the the precious bonds of solidarity and citizenship that we share in this country. 

‘At the heart of that bond is a belief in the fundamental freedoms and liberties we all cherish – freedom of speech, the freedom to live how we choose and – yes – the freedom to practice religion in peace

‘We will not let this happen. 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.’ 

Mrs May then referred to the other horrors which have taken place in London over recent weeks, describing how Londoners had shown ‘resolve’ through the adversity. 

‘Today’s attack falls at a difficult time in the life of this city following on from London Bridge two weeks ago and of course the unimaginable tragedy of Grenfell Tower this week,’ she continued. 

‘But what we have seen throughout – whether in the heroism of the ordinary citizens who fought off the attackers at London Bridge, the unbreakable resolve of the residents in Kensington, or, this morning, the spirit of the community who apprehended the attacker, is that this is an extraordinary city of extraordinary people. 

Mr Corbyn said he was horrified by the 'cruel' attack in his constituency, which saw a white man drive at a group of Muslims giving first aid to an ill man 

Mr Corbyn said he was horrified by the 'cruel' attack in his constituency, which saw a white man drive at a group of Muslims giving first aid to an ill man 

Mr Corbyn said he was horrified by the ‘cruel’ attack in his constituency, which saw a white man drive at a group of Muslims giving first aid to an ill man 

The Islington North MP said he was already working with community leaders at Muslim Welfare House in response to the attack 

The Islington North MP said he was already working with community leaders at Muslim Welfare House in response to the attack 

The Islington North MP said he was already working with community leaders at Muslim Welfare House in response to the attack 

The grim-faced Labour leader is due to attend a prayer service in the aftermath of the attack later 

‘It is home to a multitude of communities that together make London one of the greatest cities on earth – diverse, welcoming, vibrant, compassionate, confident and determined never to give in to hate.

‘There are the values that define this city.’ 

Mrs May added that extra police resources had already been deployed to ‘reassure communities’ while police would continue to assess the security needs of mosques ‘and provide any additional resources where needed’.  

The Prime Minister – who made the statement after chairing a meeting of the Government’s emergency Cobra meeting – added that police believed the suspect was acting alone when he mowed down the group of Muslims close to the mosque.

Meanwhile, Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, who represents the area as its MP, has announced he will attend prayers at the mosque later.  He arrived at the scene this morning to comfort constituents.   

In a statement he said: ‘I am shocked by this horrific and cruel attack in Finsbury Park, which is being treated as an act of terror.

‘I offer my condolences to the family and friends of the man who has died, and our thoughts are with the people who have been injured, their family and friends.

‘As the local MP, I have met with Muslim community leaders at the Muslim Welfare House alongside Islington Council Leader Richard Watts, the council’s Chief Executive Lesley Seary and the Metropolitan Police.

‘Richard and I will attend prayers at Finsbury Park mosque later today.’ 

Shocking eyewitness accounts had earlier revealed how the van raced down the bus lane before swerving down a dead end road and mowing down members of the public.  

Van was rented in small South Wales village

Police today swooped on a small Welsh village van hire company after their £80-a-day vehicle was used in Finsbury Park mosque attack.

Officers arrived at 7.30am at the offices of Pontyclun Van Hire – more than 160 miles away from the London mosque.

Staff at the company were interviewed by officers at their depot in Pontyclun, 12 miles north of Cardiff.

Company staff declined to comment but one neighbouring worker said: ‘This is a nightmare for them. They are completely innocent.’

One member of staff said: ‘We are not saying anything, we don’t know anything at the moment.’

Owners of a van hire company today hit out at the ‘cowardly’ attack on the Finsbury Park mosque in one of their vehicles hired more than 160 miles away.

The company staff were ‘shocked and saddened’ that one of their vehicles from Pontyclun Van Hire near Cardiff, South Wales, was used in the attack.

And the family-owned company pledged to help police with their investigation into the mosque outrage.

Police today swooped on a small Welh village van hire company after their £80-a-day vehicle was taken for the attack.

A spokesman for the company said: ‘We at Pontyclun Van Hire are shocked and saddened by the incident that took place at Finsbury Park last night.

‘We are co-operating fully with the Metropolitan Police investigation and our thoughts are with those who have been injured in this cowardly attack.

‘We will not be making any further statement because of the on-going police investigation but will continue to assist the police in any way we can.’

Officers arrived at 7.30am at the offices of Pontyclun Van Hire 168 miles away from the London mosque.

Adil Rana, 24, said he saw blood and ‘people dead on the floor’ in the aftermath.

‘The van was driving towards us to try and basically hit us at speed and everyone was shocked and people were screaming. There were people on the floor,’ he said. 

Mr Rana, from Walthamstow, said he also saw the driver being held on the ground by some of the crowd after getting out the vehicle.

He said: ‘The driver jumped out and then he was pinned down to the floor and people were punching him and beating him, which was reasonable because of what he’s done.

‘And then the imam of the mosque actually came out and said ‘Don’t hit him, hand him over to the police, pin him down’.’

Mr Rana said the driver gestured and mocked the crowds as he was taken away by police. ‘When he got arrested, he was taunting, saying ‘I’d do it again, I’d do it again’,’ he added.  

Emergency service crews were also seen giving cardiac massages to the injured in a desperate bid to save them, but unconfirmed reports that two other suspects fled the van were denied by police.

The police operation is being handled by counter-terrorism units, while the suspect has been taken to hospital and will be detained once he has been discharged, and will then face a mental health assessment. 

Today, police and forensic officers were seen scouring the area for clues as the terror investigation got underway.   

Flowers were handed to police, who put the tributes inside the cordoned off area. One tribute reads: ‘This hideous crime is not who we are. Finsbury Park represents the best of London. Love and tolerance.’

Staff from a local cafe were also seen giving coffees and bottles of water to officers guarding the scene. 

Police said the suspect had been taken to hospital as a precaution and would be taken into custody once discharged and subjected to a mental health assessment in due course.

Some witnesses at the scene said more than one attacker may have been involved.

But the Met said: ‘At this early stage of this investigation, no other suspects at the scene have been identified or reported to police, however the investigation continues.’ 

Meanwhile, a member of staff at Pontyclun Van Hire said the company would not be issuing a statement. She said: ‘We are not saying anything, we don’t know anything at the moment.’

The website shows that anyone wanting to hire a vehicle must show their driving licence and a utility bill or bank statement featuring a current address. 

Today, police interviewed staff at the company, which is based 12 miles north of Cardiff.    

The Finsbury Park Mosque gained notoriety more than a decade ago for sermons by hate preacher Abu Hamza, who was imam from 1997 until 2003 and was sentenced to life in a U.S. prison in January 2015 for his conviction on terrorism-related charges. 

A new board of trustees and management took over in February 2005, a year after Abu Hamza was arrested by British police.

Since the, the mosque has undergone wholesale changes and become far more liberal under new leader Mohammed Kozbar.

Attendance has greatly increased among worshippers from various communities, according to the mosque’s website.   

Mr Kozbar, described the incident as ‘a cowardly attack which is no different than the attacks in Manchester and London’.

‘Our community is in shock, our thought and prayer with those who have been affected by this,’ he said.  

‘Tough times don’t last. Tough people do’: Finsbury Park Tube worker’s poignant ‘Quote Of The Day’ urges people to stick together after the terror attack 

A transport worker has penned a poignant message to commuters who awoke to news of another horrifying terror attack in the capital.

The apt quote, ‘Tough times don’t last. ‘Tough people do. Stick together. All of us’, was scrawled on a board at Finsbury Park Tube station, and signed by underground staff, British Transport Police and emergency services. 

It comes after one person was killed and ten more injured after a white van driver screaming ‘I’m going to kill all Muslims’ ploughed into worshippers outside the nearby Finsbury Park mosque. 

The message, 'Tough times don't last. 'Tough people do. Stick together. All of us', was scrawled on a board at Finsbury Park Tube station

The message, 'Tough times don't last. 'Tough people do. Stick together. All of us', was scrawled on a board at Finsbury Park Tube station

The message, ‘Tough times don’t last. ‘Tough people do. Stick together. All of us’, was scrawled on a board at Finsbury Park Tube station

A 47-year-old man has been arrested and remains in hospital, in police custody.  

Brave bystanders wrestled the suspect to the floor outside the Muslim Welfare House in Finsbury Park and pinned him down police officers arrived.

He had allegedly screamed: ‘I want to kill all Muslims’, and ‘I did my bit’.

At the time of the attack, which was just after midnight, several people were giving first aid to an elderly member of the public who had collapsed at the bus stop with a medical issue.

Today, police confirmed he was the man who had died. Metropolitan Police deputy assistant commissioner Neil Basu said it is not yet known if his death was caused by the terror attack.

Hundreds of defiant Londoners have now taken to social media to vow that they will not let terror attacks divide them. One wrote: ‘Terrorists are terrorists! Nothing to do with any religion.Let’s #StandTogether & not let them divide us!’ 

Another wrote: ‘My little patch has just got a little less safe and a lot sadder. Lunatics will not divide us.’ 

Hundreds of defiant Londoners have now taken to the street and to social media to vow that they will not let terror attacks divide them

Hundreds of defiant Londoners have now taken to the street and to social media to vow that they will not let terror attacks divide them

Hundreds of defiant Londoners have now taken to the street and to social media to vow that they will not let terror attacks divide them

Commuters passing through the north London station this morning saw the defiant message

Commuters passing through the north London station this morning saw the defiant message

Commuters passing through the north London station this morning saw the defiant message

A police cordon has been set up at Seven Sisters Road this morning as officers flood the scene outside the Muslim Welfare House

A police cordon has been set up at Seven Sisters Road this morning as officers flood the scene outside the Muslim Welfare House

A police cordon has been set up at Seven Sisters Road this morning as officers flood the scene outside the Muslim Welfare House

Devastated members of the community have been leaving floral tributes at the scene

Devastated members of the community have been leaving floral tributes at the scene

Devastated members of the community have been leaving floral tributes at the scene

Defiant Londoners have been united in their grief in the wake of yet another atrocity to hit the capital.

On June 8, terrorists Khuram Butt, Rachid Redouane and Youssef Zaghba hired a van and ploughed into pedestrians on London Bridge before going on a knife rampage attacking people enjoying meals and drinks in Borough Market, killing eight people and leaving 21 in a critical condition.

In the wake of that sickening act, a message appeared at London Bridge’s underground station reading: ‘London Bridge will never fall down. 

‘You can’t break our spirit.’ It is believed to have been written by a TFL employee. 

 

A group of Muslims prayed on the pavement following the atrocity. The incident has been slammed as a 'violent manifestation of Islamophobia', with Muslim leaders calling for extra security around mosques

A group of Muslims prayed on the pavement following the atrocity. The incident has been slammed as a 'violent manifestation of Islamophobia', with Muslim leaders calling for extra security around mosques

A group of Muslims prayed on the pavement following the atrocity. The incident has been slammed as a ‘violent manifestation of Islamophobia’, with Muslim leaders calling for extra security around mosques

A massive police presence remains on the scene at Finsbury Park, as forensic officers comb the scene 

A massive police presence remains on the scene at Finsbury Park, as forensic officers comb the scene 

A massive police presence remains on the scene at Finsbury Park, as forensic officers comb the scene 

A heavy presence of armed police officers swooped to the scene shortly after the drama unfolded near the place of worship

A heavy presence of armed police officers swooped to the scene shortly after the drama unfolded near the place of worship

A heavy presence of armed police officers swooped to the scene shortly after the drama unfolded near the place of worship

Eyewitnesses reported seeing bystanders wrestle the suspect to the floor and pin him down until officers arrived at the scene

Eyewitnesses reported seeing bystanders wrestle the suspect to the floor and pin him down until officers arrived at the scene

Eyewitnesses reported seeing bystanders wrestle the suspect to the floor and pin him down until officers arrived at the scene

Rescue teams at the scene investigating as other emergency service members huddle together to discuss the operation

Rescue teams at the scene investigating as other emergency service members huddle together to discuss the operation

Rescue teams at the scene investigating as other emergency service members huddle together to discuss the operation

In a statement posted on its website, the Finsbury Park Mosque said it ‘condemns in the strongest terms a heinous terrorist attack’.

‘The van driver deliberately mowed down Muslim men and women leaving late evening prayers from Finsbury Park Mosque and Muslim Welfare House just after midnight,’ the statement said.

‘This is a callous terrorist attack, which coincides with the murdered MP, Jo Cox, anniversary.’ 

The statement added: ‘Finally, our thoughts and prayers are with the victims and their families.

‘We urge all attending mosques and going about their business to remain vigilant in this difficult time.’

‘It’s not safe anymore after what’s been happening. It’s not been safe to walk. 

‘Two people ran away and one got taken away to the police. 

The attack comes just two weeks after eight were killed in a terror attack in London Bridge, when three extremists mowed down pedestrians on the bridge before launching a stabbing frenzy in pubs and clubs in nearby Borough Market.  

Three months ago, Khalid Masood also mowed down four people on Westminster Bridge before stabbing PC Keith Palmer to death on the cobbled forecourt of the Houses of Parliament.  

It was also less than a month ago that terrorist Salman Abedi detonated a suicide bomb killing 22 people, including children, after an Ariana Grande concert at Manchester Arena. 

Fabian Santana, 22, who saw last night’s carnage unfold, said he felt as though the capital was no longer ‘safe’.  

‘I just feel like London for the last couple of weeks has not been safe. I’d rather go out of London,’ he added. 

Jamal, 21, echoed his fears, telling MailOnline: ‘I think it’s terrible what happened in so many locations I don’t know if I’m going to be alive tomorrow, I’m worried what’s going to happen tomorrow, it’s scary

‘It’s not safe in London, total, 100 per cent it is not safe, I’m worried to come out of my house right now, it’s not safe.’ 

Jeremy Corbyn expressed his shock at the incident, which took place in the heart of his Islington North constituency, and appeared to be in tears.

He said: ‘I’m totally shocked at the incident at Finsbury Park tonight. I’ve been in touch with the mosques, police and Islington council regarding the incident.

‘My thoughts are with those and the community affected by this awful event.’

Hather Ali, 31, was inside the mosque where Jeremy Corbyn addressed 150 people later.

He told MailOnline: ‘He was giving a message of unity and said that everyone needs to work together.

‘He said that everyone needs to be calm and stick together to overcome such extremism.

‘The response from the community and local politicians has been excellent. The emergency services have also been great since the attack happened.

‘After something like this there will be a sense of fear. But as long as we are united as a community we can eradicate this.’ 

London Mayor Sadiq Khan urged people to remain vigilant, saying: ‘We don’t yet know the full details, but 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’.

Several worshippers took to the streets to pray for the victims in the aftermath of the horrific attack

Several worshippers took to the streets to pray for the victims in the aftermath of the horrific attack

Several worshippers took to the streets to pray for the victims in the aftermath of the horrific attack

More members of the Muslim community on their knees as they send their prayers to those who were affected by the van

More members of the Muslim community on their knees as they send their prayers to those who were affected by the van

More members of the Muslim community on their knees as they send their prayers to those who were affected by the van

Police extend the cordon around the scene as the investigation begins during a hectic few weeks for emergency services

Police extend the cordon around the scene as the investigation begins during a hectic few weeks for emergency services

Police extend the cordon around the scene as the investigation begins during a hectic few weeks for emergency services

Police officers attending to the scene after the vehicle collided with pedestrians in  Finsbury Park at around midnight

Police officers attending to the scene after the vehicle collided with pedestrians in  Finsbury Park at around midnight

Police officers attending to the scene after the vehicle collided with pedestrians in Finsbury Park at around midnight

The Labour leader wrote on Twitter: 'I am totally shocked by the incident in Finsbury Park tonight'

The Labour leader wrote on Twitter: 'I am totally shocked by the incident in Finsbury Park tonight'

The Labour leader wrote on Twitter: ‘I am totally shocked by the incident in Finsbury Park tonight’

A message on a whiteboard in Finsbury Parl station reads: 'Tough times don't last, tough people do stick together'

A message on a whiteboard in Finsbury Parl station reads: 'Tough times don't last, tough people do stick together'

A message on a whiteboard in Finsbury Parl station reads: ‘Tough times don’t last, tough people do stick together’

This is the vehicle that smashed into people outside the mosque, which has been hired from a Welsh company

This is the vehicle that smashed into people outside the mosque, which has been hired from a Welsh company

This is the vehicle that smashed into people outside the mosque, which has been hired from a Welsh company

Home Secretary Amber Rudd said: ‘My thoughts are with all those affected by the appalling incident at Finsbury Park.

‘I am in contact with the Metropolitan Police who have confirmed it is being investigated by their Counter Terrorism Command.

‘We must all continue to stand together, resolute, against all those who try to divide us and spread hate and fear.’

Labour’s shadow home secretary Diane Abbott, whose Hackney North and Stoke Newington constituency lies close to the scene, called for police to review security at mosques.

She tweeted: ‘Terror attack outside #FinsburyPark mosque. Police must urgently review security for all mosques #StandTogether.’

Another witness, a courier who gave his name as Andrew, said he saw three people on the floor and at least one of them appeared to be in Muslim dress.

The 45-year-old, of St Albans, Hertfordshire, said he was driving back from a night shift when he saw the aftermath of the collision.

He said: ‘When I drove past slowly I could count three people on the floor and police were performing CPR on one of them. The guy having CPR performed on him was in a gown, ethnic clothing.’

One resident told how he jumped out of the way as the van struck pedestrians.

The man, who did not want to be named, said: ‘The gentleman went straight down this road, people were just conversing, talking, just doing what we’re doing. And he just came into all of us.

‘There was a lot of people. We got told to move straight away. I was shocked, shocked, shocked. There were bodies around me. 

‘Thank God I just moved to the side, I just jumped. Everyone is hurt. Everyone is actually hurt.’ 

Jennifer Heape said: ‘Apparently a van has ploughed into people coming from Finsbury Park mosque. People are reporting of several injured, some fatalities. 

‘Police are escorting people home very calmly. They are making sure people stay indoors.

‘No panic, but it’s very serious. A LOT of helicopters.’ 

A pedestrian is wheeled away on a stretcher by paramedics as the receives emergency treatment

A pedestrian is wheeled away on a stretcher by paramedics as the receives emergency treatment

A pedestrian is wheeled away on a stretcher by paramedics as the receives emergency treatment

There was a huge emergency service presence at the scene after the car swerved onto the pavement

There was a huge emergency service presence at the scene after the car swerved onto the pavement

There was a huge emergency service presence at the scene after the car swerved onto the pavement

An eyewitness who lives on Seven Sisters Road told the BBC there were people ‘shouting and screaming’.

She added: ‘Everyone was shouting ‘a van’s hit people’.

‘There was this white van stopped outside Finsbury Park Mosque that seems to have hit people who were coming out of the mosque after prayers finished.’ 

A Metropolitan Police helicopter was seen circling overhead as photographs posted on social media showed a huge response from the emergency services.

Dozens of police cars and vans cordoned off a large area of the normally bustling thoroughfare as stunned locals gathered at the scene.  

Mehdi, a 38-year-old worshipper, told the Evening Standard: ‘There were loads of people coming out and the van took a left and went straight into them.

Dozens of police cars and vans cordoned off a large area of the normally bustling thoroughfare as stunned locals gathered at the scene

Dozens of police cars and vans cordoned off a large area of the normally bustling thoroughfare as stunned locals gathered at the scene

Dozens of police cars and vans cordoned off a large area of the normally bustling thoroughfare as stunned locals gathered at the scene

Police rush with a stretcher to a victim who is laying stricken on the side of the road after being hit by the van

Police rush with a stretcher to a victim who is laying stricken on the side of the road after being hit by the van

Police rush with a stretcher to a victim who is laying stricken on the side of the road after being hit by the van

‘The crowd caught a guy. He tried to do a London Bridge thing.’

A woman named Hajal said her sister witnessed the immediate aftermath of the incident.

She told LBC Radio: ‘Everyone was just running everywhere she didn’t realise what was going on at first until she people on the floor.

‘She ran to see first victim and realised it was a family friend.’

‘An old man didn’t have a pulse. Police came and took over. She said it could have been an accident.

‘At first she thought there was some sort of fight. There were 15 to 20 people hitting somebody – she didn’t realise it was the man who ran over the people.

‘She said someone was still under the van but he was breathing. The second [more seriously injured] person was family friend who at first said he couldn’t feel his legs.’ 

Another person who lives nearby, Ishmael, told the station: ‘I pray there regularly. I’m there right now. There’s a very close friend of mine and in a very bad critical condition.

‘I hear from the other guys that they just stand there and have a coffee.

‘The van drove to there. I had just left the area because I wasn’t feeling very well.

The area was cordoned off as police rushed to the scene after getting the call just after midnight

The area was cordoned off as police rushed to the scene after getting the call just after midnight

The area was cordoned off as police rushed to the scene after getting the call just after midnight

How mosque known for hate cleric Abu Hamza transformed itself into a pillar of the community 

Abu Hamza preached at the mosque from 1997 to 2003 before being jailed for inciting violence

Abu Hamza preached at the mosque from 1997 to 2003 before being jailed for inciting violence

Abu Hamza preached at the mosque from 1997 to 2003 before being jailed for inciting violence

The award-winning Finsbury Park Mosque is a beacon for community relations and works tirelessly to promote a better understanding of Islam. 

In 2014, it became the first Muslim place of worship in the UK to be handed the prestigious Visible Quality Mark by national body Community Matter, for combatting extremism. 

Finsbury Park Mosque was the first mosque and the third faith organisation in the country to receive the award.  

However it gained notoriety more than a decade ago for sermons by radical cleric Abu Hamza al-Masri, who was sentenced to life in a U.S. prison in January 2015 for his conviction on terrorism-related charges.

A new board of trustees and management took over in February 2005, a year after Hamza was arrested by British police, since when attendance has greatly increased among worshippers from various communities, according to the mosque’s website.

Hamza preached there from 1997 to 2003 before being jailed for inciting violence. He was later extradited to the United States and jailed for life in New York on terrorism charges in 2015.

In 2015, the mosque was one of around 20 that took part in an open day organised by the MCB to promote better understanding of Islam following Islamist-inspired terrorist attacks in Paris.

The mosque has undergone wholesale changes and become far more liberal under new leader Mohammed Kozbar.  

However despite the change in leadership and a new focus on inter-faith relations, the mosque reported it had received a string of threatening emails and letters in the wake of the terror attacks in Paris.

The mosque said it received hate mail following the radical cleric’s conviction for terrorist charges, adding: ‘Despite being free of radical Islamic cleric Abu Hamza for more than a decade, Finsbury Park mosque still suffers from its former association.’

The Finsbury Park Mosque has undergone wholesale changes and become far more liberal under new leader Mohammed Kozbar

The Finsbury Park Mosque has undergone wholesale changes and become far more liberal under new leader Mohammed Kozbar

The Finsbury Park Mosque has undergone wholesale changes and become far more liberal under new leader Mohammed Kozbar

In a statement posted on its website today, the Finsbury Park Mosque said it ‘condemns in the strongest terms a heinous terrorist attack’.

‘The van driver deliberately mowed down Muslim men and women leaving late evening prayers from Finsbury Park Mosque and Muslim Welfare House just after midnight,’ the statement said.

‘This is a callous terrorist attack, which coincides with the murdered MP, Jo Cox, anniversary.’

The mosque’s chairman, Mohammed Kozbar, described the incident as ‘a cowardly attack which is no different than the attacks in Manchester and London’.

‘Our community is in shock, our thought and prayer with those who have been affected by this,’ he said.

The statement added: ‘Finally, our thoughts and prayers are with the victims and their families.

‘We urge all attending mosques and going about their business to remain vigilant in this difficult time.’ 

‘One of my friends witnessed it. He told me the van went through the people standing there. 6 or 7 people, and one Asian guy is definitely dead.

‘My friend is in bad critical condition. He was under the van. His head was bleeding.

‘Someone took a video of him. Very shocking video. He’s got family and a wife.

‘The police answered the phone and told me he’s alright. But the other friend they don’t really know his condition. They’re both in ambulances and heading to a London Hospital.

‘Something’s going to happen here one day here. Since that incident I had a feeling something was going to happen to the Mosque. We don’t have no security.

‘This is Ramadan and there was no security at all. Anyone who wants to do anything can come there. If someone wants to kill hundreds they can come there easily.’ 

Abdikadar Warfa said: ‘I saw a man underneath the van. He was bleeding. My friend said he had to lift the van, I was busy with a man who tried to escape.

‘My friend said he said some words, but I didn’t hear it.

‘They (people who were hit) were mostly young. They are very bad.

‘I tried to stop him (the suspect), some people were hitting him but I said stop him and keep him until the police came.

Emergency services rush to get a stretcher to the injured strewn on the pavements after the attack

Emergency services rush to get a stretcher to the injured strewn on the pavements after the attack

Emergency services rush to get a stretcher to the injured strewn on the pavements after the attack

‘He was trying to run away but people overpowered him. He was fighting to run away.’

The widower of murdered MP Jo Cox spoke out on Twitter as news of the attack broke, saying that the far right and Islamist terrorists shared an ideology and both must be defeated.

Brendan Cox tweeted: ‘Far right facists&Islamist terrorists are driven by same hatred of difference, same ideology of supremacy&use same tactics.We’ll defeat both.

‘When islamist terrorists attack we rightly seek out hate preachers who spur them on. We must do the same to those who peddle Islamophobia’.

Mother-of-two Mrs Cox, who represented the Batley and Spen conctituency in West Yorkshire, was shot and stabbed as she arrived for a constituency surgery in Birstall on June 16 last year. 

London Ambulance Service Deputy Director of Operations, Kevin Bate said: ‘We were called at 12.15am to reports of a road traffic collision at Seven Sisters Road.

‘We have sent a number of ambulance crews, advance paramedics and specialist responses teams to the scene. An advance trauma team from London’s Air Ambulance has also been dispatched by car.

‘We are working closely with other members of the emergency services at the scene.

‘Our priority is to assess the level and nature of injuries and ensure those in the most need are treated first and taken to hospital.

‘More information will follow when we have it.’

Muhbeen Hussain, founder of British Muslim Youth, said: ‘We strongly condemn this horrendous suspected terrorist attack and pray for the innocent victims and their families that have been affected by this incident.

‘I have personally visited the scene of the attack and spoke to many eyewitnesses, many of whom were quite emotional after witnessing a murder and seeing many people being injured. 

‘In less than a month, we have witnessed horrific attacks in Manchester, London Bridge, Borough Markets, a tragedy at Grenfell Tower and now this horrific attack.

‘We as communities stood united in all of these difficult times and we must come together once more.

‘I also urge anyone that has further information to speak to the police, so they have as much information as possible to deal with the on-going investigation.’  

Member of the London Muslim Community Forum, Shiraz Kothia, also called for calm in the face of the tragedy.

He told MailOnline: ‘First of all we need to look after the community and make sure everyone is safe.

‘No matter what faith or ideology it is, we need to tackle extremism. I have worked with the Metropolitan Police after the Manchester and London Bridge attacks and we will continue to work with everyone in the community.

‘Everyone must remain calm. There is no faith to terrorism. Tomorrow is could be a synagogue or a church. We must come together to stop it.

‘We will be hosting some gatherings after this now and we will need the rabbis, priests, ministers and imams to come together.’ 

The incident comes almost three months to the day since Khalid Masood killed five people after mounting the pavement at Westminster Bridge and stabbing a police officer to death

The incident comes almost three months to the day since Khalid Masood killed five people after mounting the pavement at Westminster Bridge and stabbing a police officer to death

The incident comes almost three months to the day since Khalid Masood killed five people after mounting the pavement at Westminster Bridge and stabbing a police officer to death

Khuram Butt lies dying in Borough Market shortly after he was shot by armed police following another incident involving a van on London Bridge

Khuram Butt lies dying in Borough Market shortly after he was shot by armed police following another incident involving a van on London Bridge

Khuram Butt lies dying in Borough Market shortly after he was shot by armed police following another incident involving a van on London Bridge

‘Do not touch him’: Hero imam saves Finsbury Park terror suspect by calling for calm so police can arrest him 

A hero Imam helped pin down the Finsbury Park terror suspect and told angry crowds: ‘Don’t hit him – you do not touch him – hand him into the police’. 

Muslim leader Mohammed Mahmoud urged irate witnesses not to attack the alleged killer after he ploughed into a crowd at high speed while driving a white van.

The extraordinary appeal for calm came while the suspect, 47, was shouting ‘I want to kill all Muslims – I did my bit’ before telling crowds that surrounded him: ‘Kill me, kill me’.

But Mr Mahmoud repeatedly yelled: ‘Don’t hit him, hand him over to the police, pin him down’ and more men joined him in protecting the unnamed white van driver.

Scotland Yard has praised the ‘restraint’ of the crowds who protected the alleged killer before the police arrived to arrest him. 

Scotland Yard has praised the 'restraint' of the crowds who restrained and then protected the terror suspect before the police arrived to arrest him

Scotland Yard has praised the 'restraint' of the crowds who restrained and then protected the terror suspect before the police arrived to arrest him

Scotland Yard has praised the ‘restraint’ of the crowds who restrained and then protected the terror suspect before the police arrived to arrest him

This is the moment Finsbury Park Imam  Mohammed Mahmoud (pictured centre in white) held down the man accused of launching a terror attack

This is the moment Finsbury Park Imam  Mohammed Mahmoud (pictured centre in white) held down the man accused of launching a terror attack

This is the moment Finsbury Park Imam Mohammed Mahmoud (pictured centre in white) held down the man accused of launching a terror attack

The group of men pinned the suspect down and urged irate witnesses not to hurt him

The group of men pinned the suspect down and urged irate witnesses not to hurt him

The group of men pinned the suspect down and urged irate witnesses not to hurt him

The suspect is believed to have used this van rented in Wales as a weapon to try to kill and maim Finsbury Park worshippers

The suspect is believed to have used this van rented in Wales as a weapon to try to kill and maim Finsbury Park worshippers

The suspect is believed to have used this van rented in Wales as a weapon to try to kill and maim Finsbury Park worshippers

Adil Rana, 24, who was outside the mosque when the van drove towards the crowd, saw blood and ‘people dead on the floor’ in the aftermath.

He told the Press Association: ‘The van was driving towards us to try and basically hit us at speed and everyone was shocked and people were screaming. There were people on the floor.’

Mr Rana, from Walthamstow, said the driver was held on the ground by some of the crowd after getting out the vehicle.

He said: ‘The driver jumped out and then he was pinned down to the floor and people were punching him and beating him, which was reasonable because of what he’s done.

‘And then the imam of the mosque actually came out and said ‘Don’t hit him, hand him over to the police, pin him down’.’

Mr Rana said the driver gestured and mocked the crowds as he was taken away by police.

He added: ‘When he got arrested, he was taunting, saying ‘I’d do it again, I’d do it again’.’

Eyewitness Abdul Rahman told the BBC said the white van driver clearly said he wanted to ‘kill all Muslims’.

Mr Rahman, hit him and then helped pin him down.

He said: ‘When the guy came out from his van he wanted to escape, run away and he was saying: ‘I want to kill Muslims. I want to kill Muslims’.

‘I hit him on his stomach and then me and the other guys, we held him to the ground until he couldn’t move. We stopped him until the police came.’

Eyewitness Hussain Ali, 28, said that, while being restrained, the man was protected by the people he is thought to have been targeting.

He said: ‘The leader of the mosque said ‘You do not touch him’. He was sitting and holding him like that, people kept holding him.

‘All the police and helicopters came after around eight minutes.’

Mr Ali described the horrifying scene unfolding outside the Islamic centre in north London early on Monday morning.

‘All I heard was a banging, then I turned and saw all the shouting and running.

‘I saw people taking a man from underneath the van, he was black, bleeding, he was not dead, he was alive.

‘There was a man in a wheelchair, a man underneath the van, it was hell.

‘People who were inside saw the attacker was smiling, he was waving, he was happy.

‘It was panic, people were shouting, screaming, some saying it was an accident.

‘It was panic, it was horror.’  

The suspect, smiled, waved and blew kisses after his arrest in an attempt to rile crowds, it has been claimed

The suspect, smiled, waved and blew kisses after his arrest in an attempt to rile crowds, it has been claimed

The suspect, smiled, waved and blew kisses after his arrest in an attempt to rile crowds, it has been claimed

Scotland Yard has today thanked them for detaining him.

Toufik Kacimi, chief executive of the Muslim Welfare House, said the local community was ‘horrified’ by the incident and appealed for calm.

He also thanked Imam Mohammed Mahmoud ‘whose bravery and courage helped calm the immediate situation after the incident and prevented further injuries and potential loss of life’.

‘We have worked very hard over decades to build a peaceful and tolerant community here in Finsbury Park and we totally condemn any act of hate that tries to drive our wonderful community apart,’ Mr Kacimi said.

‘We would appeal for calm at this time. It is unhelpful for there to be speculation about the incident. All of our efforts should be towards getting justice for the victims and ensuring our community stays the diverse, tolerant and welcome place we know it to be.’

He added: ‘An old man has passed away, what for? What did he do? He was just coming out of prayers, a nice gentleman going home after prayers and he is hit and killed by a car – what did he do? Why? Why?

‘The guy, he came out and said ‘You deserve, I did my bit, you deserve it’ and he was shouting and screaming abusive language – what for? What did he do, this man? He is an innocent man’.  

Mr Kacimi said the Muslim Welfare House had met with police, the council and Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, who is MP for Islington North, in the wake of the incident.

He added: ‘I would like to particularly thank our Imam Mohammed Mahmoud, whose bravery and courage helped calm the immediate situation after the incident and prevented further injuries and potential loss of life.’  

One man has died and a tent is over the spot where he was ran down - police are trying to investigate if he died as a result of the attack or whether he had collapsed because of the heat beforehand

One man has died and a tent is over the spot where he was ran down - police are trying to investigate if he died as a result of the attack or whether he had collapsed because of the heat beforehand

One man has died and a tent is over the spot where he was ran down – police are trying to investigate if he died as a result of the attack or whether he had collapsed because of the heat beforehand

Police have paid tribute to the men who held him down after the attack on a group of worshippers near a mosque by a man in a white van.

One man died after the terror suspect, described as a large white man, targeted people near the Finsbury Park Mosque in north London early on Monday. 

Metropolitan Police Deputy Assistant Commissioner Neil Basu said: ‘This is being treated as a terrorist attack.’

He added: ‘I would like to thank those people who helped police in detaining the man and worked with officers to calmly and quickly get him into our custody.

‘Their restraint in the circumstances was commendable’. 

 

Three months of horror: How Britain has been rocked by terror attacks and the devastating Grenfell Tower fire 

March 22 – Westminster Bridge attack

Lone terrorist Khalid Masood, 52, sped along Westminster Bridge, killing four pedestrians before stabbing PC Keith Palmer, 48, to death outside the Houses of Parliament. Masood died in hospital after being shot by armed police.

Masood died in hospital after being shot by armed police

Masood died in hospital after being shot by armed police

Khalid Masood, 52 (left) murdered five people on a crazed rampage along Westminster Bridge. He was shot by police (right)

May 22 – Manchester Arena bombing

Suicide bomber Salman Abedi, 22, detonated a nail bomb, killing 22, including children as young as eight, and injuring 120 music fans leaving an Ariana Grande concert in Manchester.

Police at the Manchester Arena

Police at the Manchester Arena

Salman Abedi, 22 (left) detonated a nail bomb, killing 22, including children as young as eight, and injuring 120 music fans leaving an Ariana Grande concert in Mancheste

April 27 – Man arrested with bag of knives in Westminster

Just five weeks after the Westminster Bridge terror attack, a suspect was detained with a ‘rucksack full of knives’ near Parliament Square after being tracked on an intricate web of CCTV cameras by police and MI5.

On May 9, Khalid Mohammed Omar Ali, 27, from north London, was charged with three crimes in relation to incidents in England and Afghanistan and dating back as far as 2012. 

Ali faces one count of preparation of terrorists acts, with the intention of committing acts of terrorism. He has also been charged with two offences under the Explosive Substance Act 1883, relating to activity in Afghanistan in 2012.

Khalid Mohammed Omar Ali was charged with one count of preparation of terrorists acts, and two offences under the Explosive Substance Act 1883 following the incident in Westminster

Khalid Mohammed Omar Ali was charged with one count of preparation of terrorists acts, and two offences under the Explosive Substance Act 1883 following the incident in Westminster

Khalid Mohammed Omar Ali was charged with one count of preparation of terrorists acts, and two offences under the Explosive Substance Act 1883 following the incident in Westminster

June 3 – London Bridge and Borough Market attacks

Terrorists Khuram Butt, Rachid Redouane and Youssef Zaghba hired a van and ploughed into pedestrians on London Bridge before going on a knife rampage attacking people enjoying meals and drinks in Borough Market, killing eight people and leaving 21 in a critical condition.

From left, London Bridge and Borough Market attackers: Khuram Shazad Butt, Rachid Redouane and Youssef Zaghba

From left, London Bridge and Borough Market attackers: Khuram Shazad Butt, Rachid Redouane and Youssef Zaghba

From left, London Bridge and Borough Market attackers: Khuram Shazad Butt, Rachid Redouane and Youssef Zaghba

June 14 – Grenfell Tower inferno

In the early hours of June 14, an inferno ripped through the 24-storey Grenfell Tower in North Kensington, London. 

Met Police revealed that the official number of people either dead or missing – currently 79 – is still expected to rise following searches of the wreckage. 

In the early hours of June 14, an inferno ripped through the 24-storey Grenfell Tower in North Kensington, London

In the early hours of June 14, an inferno ripped through the 24-storey Grenfell Tower in North Kensington, London

In the early hours of June 14, an inferno ripped through the 24-storey Grenfell Tower in North Kensington, London

June 18 – Finsbury Park mosque attack

A 48-year-old man was arrested after using a white hire van to plough into worshippers outside the Muslim Welfare House, near Finsbury Park Mosque, shortly after they finished Ramadan evening prayers. 

At least one person was confirmed dead at the scene, with a further ten injured in the attack. 

A 47-year-old man was arrested after using a white hire van to plough into worshippers outside the Muslim Welfare House, near Finsbury Park Mosque

A 47-year-old man was arrested after using a white hire van to plough into worshippers outside the Muslim Welfare House, near Finsbury Park Mosque

A 47-year-old man was arrested after using a white hire van to plough into worshippers outside the Muslim Welfare House, near Finsbury Park Mosque

 

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