Posts Tagged ‘Finsbury Park’

Ivanka Trump expresses solidarity over London mosque attack

June 19, 2017


© AFP/File | Ivanka Trump with her father, US President Donald Trump
WASHINGTON (AFP) – Ivanka Trump on Monday expressed solidarity with worshippers attacked while leaving a London mosque, while her father — usually quick to condemn extremist attacks — was silent for the time being.”Sending love and prayers to the victims in #FinsburyPark London. We must stand united against hatred and extremism in all it’s ugly forms,” Ivanka, a top presidential advisor, tweeted.

President Trump has taken to Twitter during previous terror attacks to make the case for tighter restrictions on travel from predominantly Muslim countries.

He has also yet to offer public comments on the deaths of seven US sailors, who were killed during a collision between their US navy destroyer and a Philippine-flagged cargo ship.

In the London attack, a van ploughed into a crowd of Muslims near a mosque early on Monday, leaving one person dead and injuring 10 others in the second terror attack this month in the British capital.

Prime Minister Theresa May condemned the “sickening” incident, saying Britain’s determination to fight “terrorism, extremism and hatred… must be the same, whoever is responsible”.


UK PM Theresa May vows to fight ‘all forms of terrorism’ in wake of London attack

June 19, 2017

After a vehicle drove into pedestrians near a mosque in north London, killing at least one person, Prime Minister Theresa May said the attacker had acted alone. The UK will look at increased security for mosques.

Theresa May chaired an emergency meeting of her Cabinet on Monday morning and told reporters afterwards that the alleged perpetrator was a 48-year-old white man and that according to early assessments, he had acted alone.

May also said the government was assessing the security of mosques in the UK, adding that there had been “too much tolerance” of extremism and vowing to fight it in the same way that the UK had fought racism.

The attack was a “sickening attempt” to destroy the freedom to worship, the prime minister said outside Downing Street. “It was an attack that once again targeted the ordinary and the innocent … this time British Muslims,” she said.

“London is an extraordinary city of extraordinary people,” she added.

Details of the attack as we get them

Deputy Assistant Commissioner Neil Basu of the Metropolitan police – the senior national coordinator for counterterrorism policing – said it was too early to tell whether the man who died at the scene had been killed in the attack.

Eyewitnesses reported seeing a group of people giving an emergency heart massage to one man before the attack happened.

Eight others were taken to hospital and two were treated at the scene, Basu said, adding that all of the victims were Muslim.

The driver of the van – a 48-year old – has been arrested on suspicion of murder, he added.

Video filmed immediately after the attack showed a Caucasian man being detained by police.

“The driver of the van…was found detained by members of the public at the scene and then arrested by police in connection with the incident,” an earlier police statement said. Ambulance crews said ten people had been transferred to hospital.

The interior minister, Amber Rudd, said police “immediately” treated the incident as a suspected terrorist attack. Rudd, who is in charge of government law enforcement, said: “Londoners have been hit with a series of attacks and have been nothing short of heroic.”

“We must all continue to stand together, resolute, against all those who try to divide us and spread hate and fear,” Rudd said.

The chairman of the Finsbury Park Mosque, Mohammed Kozbar, complained that the “mainstream media” had been unwilling to call the attack a terrorist incident for many hours.

Read more: A chronology of terror in Europe

The leader of Britain’s opposition Labour Party, Jeremy Corbyn – in whose constituency the attack took place – said he was “totally shocked” by the attack. He said in a tweet he has been in touch with mosques, the police and the local council regarding the incident.

As it happened

Police said they were called just after 12:20 a.m. (2320 GMT Sunday) to reports of a collision on Seven Sisters Road, which runs through the Finsbury Park area of north London.

A witness who lives opposite the scene of the incident told the BBC a white van stopped near the Finsbury Park Mosque, as Muslims celebrated Ramadan in the multiethnic area.

“From the window, I started hearing a lot of yelling and screeching, a lot of chaos outside…Everybody was shouting: ‘A van’s hit people, a van’s hit people’,” she said. “I didn’t see the attacker himself, although he seems to have been arrested, but I did see the van.”

Police stand at the scene of what they described as a 'major incident' in Finsbury ParkPolice stand at the scene of what they described as a ‘major incident’ in Finsbury Park

One witness, Abdul Rahman, told the BBC he saw the van “deliberately run over about 10 or 15 people.” Rahman said he and another man wrestled the suspect to the ground and held him down for 20 to 30 minutes before police arrived.

“This big van just came and went all over us,” witness Abdulrahman Saleh Alamoudi told BuzzFeed News. “He was screaming… ‘I’m going to kill all Muslims.'”

The UK’s largest Muslim umbrella body, the Muslim Council of Britain (MCB), said on Twitter that the crash happened outside the Muslim Welfare House, just down the road from Finsbury Park Mosque. “Our prayers are with the victims,” it said.

At least two witnesses told Sky News there were three men in the van, but the police statement seems to contradict that, saying no other suspects had been identified or reported to police.

Harun Khan, the head of the MCB, described the incident as the “most violent manifestation to date” of Islamophobia, and called on authorities to do more “to tackle the growth in hate crime.”

UK on high alert

London is on edge after eight people were killed in a van and knife attack on London Bridge and the Borough Market area earlier this month. In March, a man drove a car into pedestrians on Westminster Bridge and stabbed a police officer to death before being shot dead. In May, the city of Manchester was targeted with a suicide bombing at a pop concert that killed 22 people.

Britain’s terrorist alert has been set at “severe,” meaning an attack is highly likely.

Police said they had deployed extra policing resources “to reassure communities, especially those observing Ramadan.”

Emergency vehicles and police officers in the street at Finsbury Park LondonPolice, the ambulance service and fire brigade block the road in Finsbury Park where a van drove into pedestrians

A spike in hate crimes has been reported since the attack in south London two weeks ago.

Finsbury Park: hotbed of radical Islam

The Finsbury Park Mosque had been associated with radical Islamist ideology in the past, but its image changed after it was shut down and reopened under new management.

Its former imam, Abu Hamza, was jailed in Britain for inciting violence and racial hatred before being extradited to New York, where he was sentenced to life in prison for terrorism in 2015. That same year, the mosque took part in an open day organized by the MCB to promote a better understanding of Islam following Islamist-inspired attacks in Paris. It has not been associated with extremist views for more than a decade.

jbh/rg (Reuters, AP, AFP, dpa)




Finsbury Park Mosque: Former hub of radical Islam

June 19, 2017


© AFP / by Alice RITCHIE | The Finsbury Park mosque gained global notoriety as the place where Abu Hamza spouted his anti-American vitriol after the 9/11 attacks

LONDON (AFP) – The Finsbury Park Mosque, which appeared Monday to have been the target of an anti-Muslim terror attack, has fought for years to throw off its reputation as a centre for radical Islamism.The red-brick mosque is famous around the world as the place where hook-handed hate preacher Abu Hamza spouted his anti-American vitriol after the September 11, 2001, attacks.

Worshippers included Richard Reid, the “shoe bomber” who plotted to blow up a transatlantic flight, and Zacarias Moussaoui, the only person charged in the United States over 9/11 — though Hamza always denied knowing them.

After a 2003 raid by police investigating a ricin plot, the Finsbury Park Mosque was shut down — though Hamza had already been forced out by other members, and was reduced to addressing his followers in the street outside.

He was arrested the following year and the mosque reopened in 2005 under a new board of trustees, with a particular goal of encouraging community cohesion.

– Tea and biscuits –

Many local residents gathered outside the Mosque on Monday to show their support for those affected by the attack, in which a man drove a van into pedestrians after evening prayers, leaving one person dead and injuring ten others.

Egyptian-born Hamza — whose hands were blown off by an explosives experiment in Pakistan — controlled the mosque from 1997 to early 2003, and for years after many terror investigations in Britain were traced back to his influence.

When he was jailed for seven years in 2006 for inciting murder and racial hatred, the judge said the father-of-nine used his authority to encourage worshippers that killing was a religious duty.

Hamza was later extradited to the United States and jailed for life there in 2015 for playing a key role in the 1998 kidnapping of 16 Western tourists in Yemen, four of whom were killed, and in trying to set up a US terror training camp in 1999.

The new trustees have fought hard to clear the mosque’s name, and in 2015 opened its doors as part of a nationwide initiative to improve cross-community relations following terror attacks in Paris.

Annalou Oakland, an 67-year-old artist who lives nearby, was one of those who visited for tea and biscuits.

“There was big fear around this particular mosque in the past and it’s really good to hear what they’re doing and to meet people one on one,” she told AFP at the time.

“Ten years ago it was different. Since then we’ve worked tirelessly to open our centre, our mosque, our activities to the public,” Khalid Oumar, one of the mosque trustees, had said.

The mosque nonetheless received a string of threatening emails and letters in the wake of the Paris attacks.

Authorities had also warned of an increase in anti-Muslim hate crimes across London after the London Bridge attack on June 3.

“Our community is in shock, our thoughts and prayers are with those who have been affected by this,” Mohammed Kozbar, the mosque’s chairman, said Monday.

by Alice RITCHIE

Vehicle hits people near London mosque, causing casualties — “Deliberate attack against innocent Muslims.”

June 19, 2017

 (Associated Press) |

An armed police officer mans a cordon on the Seven Sisters Road at Finsbury Park where a vehicle struck pedestrians in London Monday, June 19, 2017. Police say a vehicle struck pedestrians on the road in north London, leaving several casualties and one person has been arrested. Yui Mok/PA via AP

LONDON — A vehicle struck pedestrians near a mosque in north London early Monday morning, causing several casualties, police said.

One person has been arrested. The London Ambulance Service says the injured are being taken to hospitals. Eyewitnesses reported seeing police give emergency medical treatment to at least one of the injured.

The Muslim Council tweeted that worshippers were struck by a van as they were leaving prayers near the Finsbury Park mosque. It said its prayers are with the victims.

London police have declared the crash a major incident and closed the area to normal traffic. A helicopter circled above the area as a large cordon was established to keep motorists and pedestrians away.

Eyewitness told Sky News and other British media that the van seemed to have veered and hit people intentionally. Police did not confirm that.

Mohammed Shafiq of the Ramadhan Foundation, a Muslim organization, said that based on eyewitness reports it seems to be a “deliberate attack against innocent Muslims.”

The neighborhood has two mosques, and several hundred worshippers would have been in the area after attending prayers as part of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.

The Finsbury Park mosque was associated with extremist ideology for several years after the 9/11 attacks in the United States but was shut down and reorganized. It has not been associated with radical views for more than a decade.

Metropolitan Police said officers were called to the scene on Seven Sisters Road at 12:20 a.m. Monday. Many police cars and ambulances responded to the incident.

No other details were immediately available.

Britain’s terrorist alert has been set at “severe” meaning an attack is highly likely.

Earlier this month, a van veered into pedestrians on London Bridge, setting off vehicle and knife attacks that killed eight people and wounded many others on the bridge and in the nearby Borough Market area. Three Muslim extremists who carried out the attack were killed by police.

Manchester was also hit by a severe attack when a bomber killed more than 20 people at an Ariana Grande concert.



Finsbury Park — London Mosque Attack: Imam ‘Protected Suspect From Angry Worshippers’

June 19, 2017

Police investigating incident as possible terror attack

Image may contain: one or more people, people standing, car and outdoor
Vehicle Hits People Near London Mosque
A vehicle struck pedestrians near a mosque in north London early Monday; one person died and a number of injuries were reported. One person was arrested. Photo: Associated Press

Updated June 19, 2017 2:27 a.m. ET

LONDON—A vehicle rammed into a crowd outside a mosque in north London early Monday, killing one person and injuring at least 10 others, in what British authorities said was a potential terror attack.

A 48-year-old man was detained by members of the public at the scene and arrested, the Metropolitan Police said in a statement. He was transported to a hospital as a precaution and will be taken into custody once discharged, police said….


London Mosque Attack: Imam ‘Protected Suspect From Angry Worshippers’
The man was pinned down until police arrived.
19/06/2017 09:04

An imam has been praised for stopping angry worshippers from attacking a suspect in a terror attack which saw a van plough into people outside a mosque in North London.

One person was killed and 10 people injured in the incident, which took place as people left the Muslim Welfare House on Seven Sisters Road in Finsbury Park, after midnight prayers during Ramadan.

A van at the scene in Finsbury Park, north London


Police confirmed the 48-year-old driver of the van was detained by members of public at the scene before officers arrived.


An imam is reported to have calmed furious worshippers and ensured that the suspect was not harmed.

Witness says the van driver said “I did my bit”, explains Toufik Kacimi CEO of @Mwh_london

“Imam saved Park attacker’s life from angry worshippers & detained him until he was arrested by police”, the centre’s CEO tells me

Toufik Kacimi, chief executive of the Muslim Welfare House, told Sky News: “People grabbed him outside and started hitting him.


“Our imam, Mohammed Mahmoud, went there and saved him. He saved his life basically.


“The imam of the mosque saved the life of the attacker.”

Those restraining the man were also praised for showing restraint.

Two Muslim men pin down terrorist who attacked worshipers leaving mosque using a van in area.

Look at how merciful these brothers are. Didn’t apply an ounce of force, more than what was required to restrain the TERRORIST. 

The 48-year-old suspect was later arrested on suspicion of attempted murder.

Metropolitan Police deputy assistant commissioner Neil Basu thanked members of the public for restraining the suspect.

Various reports suggest the attacker shouted versions of wanting “to kill all Muslims” and that he “did my bit”.

One local resident told HuffPost UK: “One thing that is clear. This happened after night prayer that us Muslims pray during Ramadan. It was clearly an act that was planned and an act that was done with full intention.”

The investigation of the incident is being carried out by the Counter Terrorism Command and the Metropolitan Police said they were treating the incident as a

HuffPost UK’s Paco Anselmi was in Finsbury Park, and witnessed increasingly angry scenes as it took almost five hours to confirm it was investigating terror.

 The chairman of the mosque, Mohammed Kozbar, described the incident as a “cowardly attack” and said there were many injuries.


However, it later emerged that the man who died had already been receiving first aid from members of the public and it is not yet known if his death was caused by the attack, according to the Metropolitan Police.

Read the latest updates on this story here.