Finsbury Park mosque van attacker identified as Darren Osborne

Pauline Gross
June 20, 2017

London is once again waking up to another terror attack.

British Prime Minister Theresa May condemned the attack "on innocent people" and declared that Britain would stop at nothing to defeat extremism.

As of mid-Monday morning, U.S. President Donald Trump has yet to respond, via his prolific Twitter account or by any other means, since a man slammed his vehicle into a crowd of Muslim worshipers just after midnight.

At a press conference on Monday, Mayor of London Sadiq Khan was asked by a reporter if the threat from Islamophobia has been "underestimated". "It seeks to drive us apart and to break the precious bonds of solidarity and citizenship which we share in this country", she said.

- The incident unfolded as evening Ramadan prayers ended.

The Metropolitan Police has yet to confirm the 47-year-old man arrested for driving a white van into Muslim worshippers leaving night prayers is Osborne, but police sources have confirmed his identity to the BBC, ITV, Sky News among many news outlets.

May attempted to counter that feeling, saying that police arrived at the scene within one minute, and that the incident was classified as a possible terror attack within eight minutes.

Afterward, Osborne reportedly screamed, "I'm going to kill all Muslims!"

"Luckily I managed to escape when I did and then the guy came out from his van, I got him one guy who was running through behind him and they came past me, so I managed to get him on the floor", Alamoudi told Buzzfeed News. It didn't take long for some commentators to at least hint that there might be some similarity to an arrest made in Virginia over the weekend in the assault and murder of a 17 years old Muslim girl.

Security Minister Ben Wallace confirmed the man was not known to the security services.

This is being treated as a terrorist incident and is being investigated by the Counter Terrorism Command. Of course, another witness said that the person who died was already receiving first aid before the van plowed into the crowd and may not have been killed by the driver.

Police said they had deployed extra officers "to reassure communities, especially those observing Ramadan".

The chairman of the Finsbury Park Mosque, Mohammed Kozbar, says the incident was a "cowardly attack" on worshippers.

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The media was also criticized for being slow to call the incident a terror attack.

British security officials, speaking on condition of anonymity in line with official policy, said hate crimes directed at Muslims have increased almost five-fold in the wake of several attacks in Britain.

Eight people were taken to hospital after the attack outside the mosque, which is also a community centre. Two were in a very serious condition.

Early Monday morning, he ran his vehicle into a crowd of people giving aid to an elderly worshiper who had collapsed outside the Finsbury Park Mosque, according to officials. If there truly are specific attacks taking place against Muslim communities it just adds strength to those arguments. Around 10% of the borough's population is Muslim.

The mosque itself gained notoriety for sermons by radical cleric Abu Hamza al-Masri, who was sentenced to life in a USA prison in January 2015 after his conviction on terrorism-related charges.

The Muslim Welfare House praised the imam's actions, stating that he basically saved the suspect's life.

- Since then, the mosque has worked to turn its reputation around and now operates mostly as a community center.

This time the attacker appeared to have deliberately targeted Muslims.

The site of the incident is close to another mosque near the Finsbury Park on the same road.

Britain has some of the strongest legislation in the world to tackle hate crime, and anyone responsible will face the full force of the law.

The Islamist terrorists and hate preachers are despised by the huge majority of Muslims, and the extreme-right hate preachers are (thankfully) still only a very noisy minority in most developed western nations.

The Muslim Council of Britain said its "prayers are with the victims".

She hailed the "bravery" of locals for detaining the driver at the scene in the north London district of Finsbury Park.

Other reports by GizPress

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