Witnesses on the scene described what they saw as rented white van plowed through a crowd of Muslim worshippers leaving London’s Finsbury Park Mosque after Ramadan prayers just after midnight on June 19.
According to one man who saw the whole event, the van turned suddenly and deliberately left and hit a group of worshippers.
“One of them was under the van,’ the unidentified man recounted.
“People were gathered around the van to actually lift the van up, to get this guy out of the van—from under the van.”
A pair of young men who witnessed the attack described it similarly.
“He drove on the pavement coming straight toward all the Muslims, and as he’s coming to them he hit all of them,” said the first man.
“One of them died straightaway,” said the second.
“One of them died and the rest are in bad condition,” the first man added.
Ten people were injured; one man indeed died at the scene.
Bystanders apprehended the driver, and police arrested him on suspicion of attempted murder.
Some media reported that bystanders heard the driver shout: “I’m going to kill Muslims,” and “I’ve done my bit.”
A British security official, speaking anonymously, said the driver was a 48-year-old white man.
Police are treating the attack as a terrorist incident.
Britain’s terrorist alert level has been set at “severe” meaning an attack is highly likely.
This is the latest, and worst, of several attacks reported by British mosques since the Westminster Bridge attack by an Islamic extremist on Westminster Bridge.
In that attack and the later London Bridge attack, Islamic extremists used rented vans to run down pedestrians. This attack can be seen very clearly as retaliation.
Mohammed Kozbar, chairman of the Finsbury Park Mosque, said the attack early Monday morning was no different than the recent attacks on London Bridge and Manchester Arena and said the Muslim community is “in shock.”
Prime Minister Theresa May described an attack a “sickening” attempt to destroy liberties that unite Britain, such as freedom of worship.