London Attack: What We Know Right Now
LONDON, England — London is once again waking up to bloodshed.
Here’s what we know so far about an incident in which a van drove into pedestrians near Finsbury Park Mosque, north London, in the early hours of Monday morning. One person was killed, and several injured.
UK Prime Minister Theresa May said the attack is being treated as a “potential terrorist attack,” in comments reported by the UK Press Association.
— Just after midnight Monday, a van ran into a group of people in London’s Finsbury Park neighborhood. One person died at the scene and police say eight have been taken to hospitals. Two were treated on site.
— The driver of the van, a 48-year-old man, was held by people at the scene until police could arrest him. The Metropolitan police’s Counter Terrorism Command forces are investigating the incident which happened during Ramadan.
–Two eyewitnesses tell CNN they saw three men in the van. One was detained and two left the scene. Police said they’ve not identified any other suspects at the scene nor have any been reported to police.
— On its Twitter account, the London’s Metropolitan Police said “#SevenSisters Rd #Finsburypark incident – At this early stage there are no other suspects, however the investigation continues.”
— The Metropolitan police have deployed extra officers to “reassure communities, especially those observing Ramadan,” according to London’s Mayor Sadiq Khan.
— Islington’s Seven Sisters Road, where the attack took place, is home to at least four mosques, and would have likely been filled with worshipers leaving late-night taraweeh prayers.
— The Islington borough of North London, of which Finsbury Park is a part, is home to a large Muslim community. Around 10% of the borough’s population is Muslim.
— Opened in 1994, Finsbury Park Mosque is an unassuming five-story redbrick building in residential north London, close to Arsenal Football Club’s Emirates Stadium. The mosque, which today operates largely as a community center, rose to international notoriety in the early 2000s, due to its links with Egyptian-born radical cleric Abu Hamza al-Masri.
— Abu Hamza, who was the mosque’s imam from 1997 to 2003, was later extradited to the United States, where he was convicted of supporting al Qaeda and Taliban terrorists, and sentenced to life in prison in 2015.
— UK Prime Minister Theresa May said police are treating the van incident near Finsbury Park “as a potential terrorist attack,” the UK Press Association reported.
The association quoted the Prime Minister saying: “I will chair an emergency meeting later this morning. All my thoughts are with the victims, their families and the emergency services on the scene.”
— She is set to chair an emergency meeting of Cabinet members, police and security personnel on Monday morning in the wake of the Finsbury Park Mosque incident, Downing Street press office tells CNN.
–The Finsbury Park Mosque “condemns in the strongest terms” a “heinous terrorist attack” early Monday, according to a statement released by the mosque Monday. The mosque called it a “callous terrorist attack.”
— London Mayor Sadiq Khan called the incident “a horrific terrorist attack.” In a statement Khan said, “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.
— A statement released by the Muslim Council of Britain (MCB) condemned what it described as a “terror attack.” “During the night, ordinary British citizens were set upon while they were going about their lives, completing their night worship. My prayers are with the victims and their families,” read the statement.
— Jeremy Corbyn, the leader of Britain’s opposition Labour Party tweeted “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.”