Finsbury Park Mosque Attack: What We Know So Far

Muslim worshippers North London
Muslims pray on a sidewalk in the Finsbury Park area of north London after a vehicle hit pedestrians, on June 19. A van drove into Muslim worshippers leaving prayers in north London, killing at least one. DANIEL LEAL-OLIVAS/AFP/Getty

Updated | At least one person is dead and ten injured after an attacker drove a van into a crowd of Muslim worshippers finishing prayers in north London overnight on Monday.

British Prime Minister Theresa May confirmed the incident is being treated as a “potential terrorist attack” and she is due to char a meeting of the government's COBRA committee. 

The attackers struck outside Finsbury Park mosque, one of north London's most prominent centres of Muslim worship. 

Islamic organizations have called for more police protection outside U.K. mosques as the end of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan approaches. Here's what we know so far. 

  • A white van mounted the pavement on Seven Sisters Road near Finsbury Park mosque in north London, hitting pedestrians. It was also close to an organization called the Muslim Welfare Centre, a mosque and community center.

  • One man was pronounced dead at the scene, according to the Metropolitan Police. He has not yet been identified.

  • The man was receiving first aid at the scene before the attack took place, and it is not clear whether his death was as a result of the attack, according to Deputy Met Assistant Commissioner Neil Basu, senior national coordinator for Counter-Terrorism Policing, who gave an update on Monday morning.

  • Eight people were treated at the scene and have been taken to three separate London hospitals, according to the London Ambulance Service. Two other patients were treated at the scene. All the victims were from the Muslim community, according to Basu. Two of those being treated in hospital sustained “very serious” injuries, said Basu.

  • Metropolitan Police were called to the scene in Finsbury Park, north London, at 12:20 A.M. local time on Monday. The investigation is being carried out by the Counter Terrorism Command.

  • Basu said that officers who were in the vicinity attended the incident “immediately” and that additional officers were on the scene within 10 minutes.

  • Police have identified the suspect as a man aged 48, but have not released any further details. A witness told the BBC that the man attempted to flee after crashing the van and was saying “I want to kill Muslims.” The suspect has been arrested and charged with attempted murder, said Basu.

  • Police are not searching for any other suspects in connection with the incident.

  • The suspect was detained by members of the public before police arrived. The chief executive of the Muslim Welfare House, Toufik Kacimi, told Sky News that the center’s imam had to protect the van driver to stop him being attacked before police arrived.

  • Prime Minister Theresa May said she would chair an emergency meeting of the government’s COBRA committee on Monday morning.

  • London Mayor Sadiq Khan said that his thoughts and prayers were with the victims of the “horrific terrorist attack.”

  • The incident occurred in the constituency of Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn, who said that he was “totally shocked at the incident” and had been in touch with mosques, police and the local council.

  • The Muslim Council of Britain (MBC), an umbrella organization for Islamic organizations in the U.K., said that the perpetrator appeared to be “motivated by Islamophobia.” The MCB also called for authorities to increase security outside mosques “as a matter of urgency” as the end of the holy month of Ramadan approaches.

  • Social media channels affiliated to the Islamic State militant group (ISIS) have circulated images and videos of the attack in a bid to incite Muslims against non-Muslims.

This article has been updated to reflect latest developments.