New London Attack: Suspect Wanted to 'Kill All Muslims'

Mayor denounces 'horrific terrorist attack'
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 19, 2017 4:58 AM CDT
Updated Jun 19, 2017 6:18 AM CDT

(Newser) – The man accused of driving a van into a group of people outside a London mosque early Monday shouted that he wanted to "kill all Muslims" as he was restrained by members of the public after the attack, witnesses say. The 48-year-old man also yelled "I'd do it again," witnesses say. One person died and 10 others were injured in the attack near the Finsbury Park Mosque in north London and police say the incident has "all the hallmarks of terrorism," the Telegraph reports. The latest:

  • Witnesses say the mosque's imam helped protect the attacker after local people detained him after the attack and started hitting him, the Guardian reports "The leader of the mosque said ‘You do not touch him,'" one witness says. "He was sitting and holding him like that, people kept holding him. All the police and helicopters came after around eight minutes."

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  • Metropolitan Police spokesman Neil Basu says the person who died was an elderly man who was already on the sidewalk being given first aid when the van was driven into a crowd and it's not entirely clear whether his death was the result of the attack, the BBC reports.
  • Police say the attacker, a white man, is believed to have acted alone, the New York Times reports. Police are investigating whether the attack could have been an act of retaliation for other recent terrorist attacks in Britain. "No matter what the motivation proves to be, and we are keeping an open mind, this is being treated as a terrorist attack," Basu says.
  • Harun Khan, general secretary of the Muslim Council of Britain, says police should increase security at mosques around the country, the AP reports. "It appears from eyewitness accounts that the perpetrator was motivated by Islamophobia," Khan says.
  • In a Facebook post, London Mayor Sadiq Khan described the incident as a "horrific terrorist attack." "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," he said.
  • All of the victims, including eight people who were hospitalized and two other injured people treated at the scene, are Muslims, police say.
  • Police say the attacker, who drove a van that had been rented in Wales, has been taken to a hospital as a precaution and will be charged after he leaves, the Telegraph reports. They say he "will also be subject of a mental health assessment" while in custody.
(Read more London stories.)

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