The Finsbury Park Mosque in north London said the van “deliberately mowed down Muslim men and women leaving late evening prayers” at the mosque and the nearby Muslim Welfare House after midnight.
The 47-year-old male was previously arrested on suspicion of attempted murder after a white van ploughed into Muslims as they were leaving the mosque following night-time prayers.
“The driver of the van – a man aged 48 – was found detained by members of the public at the scene”, according to the police report. The man receiving first aid is now reported to have died at the scene, while eight others sustained serious injuries from the van.
“One eyewitness to the attack told the BBC that the driver of the van reportedly said “‘I want to kill Muslims, I want to kill Muslims, ‘” as he exited the vehicle.
Prime Minister Theresa May said police were treating the van incident “as a potential terrorist attack”. “We stopped him until the police came”. At least 10 people were injured.
Counter-terror police were investigating the incident. We have one person who has died and as you are aware a man has been arrested.
Qasimi blamed Islamophobia for the attack, saying: “This guy was extreme right wing, trying to kill Muslims because they are Muslims”.
Tactical units in East Hertfordshire were deployed close to mosques early this morning following the attack near the Finsbury Park mosque. A senior terrorism official at the Metropolitan Police has since declared that the incident is being treated as a terrorist attack.
“Extra officers are on duty in the area to help reassure the local community”, Police Commissioner Cressida Dick said.
The mosque is near Seven Sisters Road and was once a notorious hub for radical Islamists but has entirely changed under new management.
The attack will stretch the capacity of authorities in Britain, who have faced four attacks in recent months, together with a major fire that has killed dozens.
The incident came after two terror attacks in London in the past three months involving vehicles ploughing into crowds of people, as well as the suicide bombing attack at a Manchester pop concert in May. Our thoughts are with the family of the victim and all those who are injured.