Members of the Finsbury Park Mosque were on the streets following an evening prayer service when a terrorist in a white van mounted the pavement and struck the group outside Muslim Welfare House.
The group had been helping a man who had collapsed and later died following the attack, although police are still investigating whether or not his death was related to the ramming. Two people were treated at the scene and nine others were taken to hospital, some of whom were in critical condition. The police confirmed that all victims of the terror attack were Muslim.
The attacker, named as 47-year-old Darren Osborne from Cardiff, was reported by eyewitnesses as shouting “I want to kill all Muslims…you deserve it”, as he tried to escape from the van. People at the scene detained Osborne before he was arrested. Security Minister Ben Wallace reported that Osborne was not known to the police or security services, and that it is thought he acted alone.
Prime Minister Theresa May condemned the attack as “an evil borne out of hatred” and “every bit as sickening” as the attacks at Westminster, Manchester and London Bridge, as she met with community leaders and locals within hours of the event taking place.
The Prime Minister pledged extra police resources and security to be deployed to Muslim communities in the run-up to Eid.
Speaking outside Downing Street yesterday, Prime Minister Theresa May stated: “This morning we have seen a sickening attempt… to break those bonds of citizenship that define our United Kingdom”.
She continued: “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. This government will act to stamp out extremist and hateful ideology – both across society and on the internet, so it is a denied a safe space to grow”.
Communities Secretary Sajid Javid comforted residents, stating that “the attacker will not succeed in his efforts to divide British society”.
CFI Honorary President Lord Polak CBE condemned the attack on Monday, stating: “Last night’s attack outside Muslim Welfare House is another deplorable reminder of where extremism can lead. It is an attempt to sow hatred and divide us. London and the British people must stand together to root out extremism in all its forms”.
Just hours before the attack, members of the Finsbury Park Mosque had enjoyed Iftar dinner with the Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis as part of the Great Get Together – a series of community celebrations held across the UK inspired by late MP Jo Cox.
The Chief Rabbi described the attack as “heart-breaking” and sent his “thoughts and prayers to those affected”.
He added: “This is a painful illustration of why we must never allow hatred to breed hatred. It creates a downward spiral of violence and terror with only further death and greater destruction”.