Finsbury Park Mosque terror attack: One dead as man rams van into Muslim worshippers - as it happened

London mosque attack: One killed and several injured after van rams into pedestriansNewsweek
  • Man in a white van hit pedestrians outside a mosque on Seven Sisters Road in London's Finsbury Park.
  • One person confirmed dead in the attack and 10 injured, eight of whom are being treated in hospital. All are Muslims, police said.
  • Police say the suspect is a 48-year-old man, who has been arrested for attempted murder.
  • He was detained by people at the scene and taken to hospital by the police.
  • The mosque said in a statement that an imam protected the attacker from an angry crowd.
  • Witnesses said on Twitter the attacker was a white man. He was heard shouting: "I want to kill all Muslims".
  • Prime Minister Theresa May said police are treating the incident as "potential terrorist attack".
  • The Muslim Council of Britain said the vehicle "intentionally" hit worshippers and termed it a "violent manifestation of Islamophobia".
  • London Mayor Sadiq Khan termed it as a "horrific terrorist attack".

We are wrapping up our live blog coverage of the Finsbury Park attack.

For more coverage of the incident, visit our homepage on www.ibtimes.co.uk. You can also follow us on Twitter and Facebook.

The London Ambulance Service (LAS) has confirmed it took eight people injured in the suspected terror attack to three London hospitals. It did not give details on their conditions.

In total, 60 paramedics were sent to the scene with the first arriving within 14 minutes of the first 999 call.

Peter McKenna, LAS deputy director of operations, said:

Our thoughts are with all of those affected by the incident in Finsbury Park and their friends and family.

We took eight patients to three London hospitals and treated others at the scene for minor injuries.

We were called to the incident at 12:15am (Monday 19 June) and sent over 60 of our medics including ambulance crews, advanced paramedics, specialist response teams and an advanced trauma team from London's Air Ambulance. The first of our medics arrived within 14 minutes of the first emergency call.

We managed the incident in a dedicated special operations centre, and, as always, our priority was to assess patients and ensure that they were treated and taken to hospital as soon as possible.

I'm very proud of all of our staff who responded to this incident alongside our other emergency services colleagues.

Prime Minister Theresa May has arrived at the scene. It comes after she was criticised heavily for not meeting victims or relatives when she first arrived at the scene of the Grenfell Tower fire.

Eve Hartley, from Huffington Post, has this video:

Richard Watts, leader of Islington Council, has issued a statement on the attack:

"The heartfelt thoughts of everyone at Islington Council are with the family and friends of those affected by the dreadful events in Finsbury Park in the early hours of this morning.

"We have been working closely with the emergency services overnight and have spoken to community leaders, Muslim Welfare House and Finsbury Park Mosque to offer any support we can.

"This is a horrifying and appalling attack, which police are treating as terrorism. Terrorist attacks seek to divide us and sow hatred. Finsbury Park is a diverse and open community and our mosques are a vital part of that community.

"We stand in solidarity with the Muslim community and will continue to stand together and support each other. Islington is a vibrant and unified borough: this is our community, and we will not be divided by any terrorist."

Mohammed Kozbar, the chairman of Finsbury Park Mosque, has given a statement at the scene, joined by other religious leaders from the Islington Faith Forum and Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn.

He spoke of how members of different faiths had gathered at Muslim Welfare House on Saturday to mark the one-year anniversary of the murder of Labour MP Jo Cox, who was killed by far-right fanatic Thomas Mair.

He said: "Less than 48 hours later the same area experienced a terrorist attack, aimed at killing Muslim returning home after their Ramadan prayers. Our thoughts and prayers are with the family of the person who died and with all those injured and traumatised by this event. An attack on one faith is an attack on all faith and communities.

"Those who try to divide us and who aim to spread fear, hatred and division will not succeed ...May we stand together in these challenging times."

Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn (centre) stands with local Faith groups, as Mohammed Kozbar, a representative of Finsbury Park Mosque, gives a statement to the mediaGetty

Kevin Hurley, the former head of the counter terrorism and public order department for the City of London Police, has been speaking about the problems of stopping attacks involving vehicles and of the impact of police cuts.

He told the BBC: "This [investigation] will take some time and is yet another burden on the already strapped resources of police nationally but particularly the Metropolitan Police, who of course are still trying to deal with all of this in the midst of cuts and further planned cuts."

Commenting on a pledge by the Mayor of London Sadiq Khan to increase the number of patrols outside Islamic places of worship, he said: "Well of course that's a nice soundbite but to be quite clear about it, there are more than 500 mosques in London alone and hundreds and hundreds of Muslim centres, so it's simply not realistic to have officers outside all of them.

"And of course this type of attack, people patrolling on the street are completely ineffective. The only way you can stop someone in a vehicle like this is with barriers and being able to shoot them by reacting immediately."

The Welsh van hire company whose vehicle was involved in the suspected terror attack has issued a statement:

We at Pontyclun Van Hire are shocked and saddened by the incident that took place at Finsbury Park last night. We are cooperating fully with the Metropolitan police and our thoughts are with those who have been injured in this cowardly attack.

We will not be making any further statement because of the ongoing police investigation but will continue to assist the police in any way we can.

A police van was spotted outside the hire company's offices near Cardiff earlier today.

A van believed to be involved in an incident near Finsbury Park Mosque in which the van ploughed into pedestrians, is pictured on 19 June 2017 in London, EnglandCarl Court/Getty Images

More members of the local Muslim community in north London have been speaking out about Islamophobic attacks.

Nasser Alyarimi, 18, says he knows people who worship at the mosque.

He told the BBC: "There's been lots of incidents taking place. Someone I know was thrown down the stairs and had beer poured over her headscarf just because she is Muslim.

"So I'm not surprised that Muslims have been targeted like this. When I'm on a train in my traditional clothes I get lots of looks.

"Islamophobia has definitely increased.

"Only an individual with such low intellect would do this. The thought makes me really sad. I would say don't put religion in the same category as a terror attack."

Scotland's First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has responded to the suspected terror attack.

Like everybody else, I am appalled, horrified and heartbroken at news of another apparent terrorist attack in the heart of London.

This was a senseless and horrific attack on Muslims leaving prayers in a mosque and our attitude and response to that should just be as serious and as steadfast as our response to those who carry out such attacks supposedly in the name of Islam.

Whether extremists and terrorists, who are a tiny minority in our society, are attacking Muslims or attacking in the name of Muslims, all of us must be absolutely resolute that our wonderful, diverse, multicultural society will not be divided, because that's what the terrorists seek to do and we must be absolutely resolute in our determination not to allow them to succeed.

About once a fortnight there's an attack on a mosque in Britain, according to Tell Mama.

The group recorded 100 attacks on mosques between May 2013 and September 2016. Most were vandalism or criminal damage. There were also arson attacks and worshippers being assaulted.

Here is the full speech from Prime Minister Theresa May, who was speaking outside 10 Downing Street earlier today:

Prime Minister Theresa May speaks outside 10 Downing Street following the attack near Finsbury Park Mosque in central London on 19 June.REUTERS/Stefan Wermuth

This morning, our country woke to news of another terrorist attack on the streets of our capital city: the second this month and every bit as sickening as those which have come before.

It was an attack that once again targeted the ordinary and the innocent going about their daily lives – this time British Muslims as they left a Mosque having broken their fast and prayed together at this sacred time of year.

Today we come together - as we have done before – to condemn this act and to state once again that hatred and evil of this kind will never succeed.

The Government's Emergency Committee, COBRA, has just met and I can set out what we know about what happened, and the steps that we are taking to respond.

Just after twenty-past midnight, the Metropolitan Police received reports that a van had been driven into a crowd of people on Seven Sisters Road in Finsbury Park.

Officers were in the immediate vicinity as the attack unfolded and responded within one minute.

Police declared it a terrorist incident within eight minutes.

One man was pronounced dead at the scene; eight injured were taken to three separate hospitals; while two were treated at the scene for more minor injuries.

The driver of the van - a white man aged 48 - was bravely detained by members of the public at the scene and then arrested by police.

The early assessment by the police is that the attacker acted alone.

Our thoughts and prayers this morning are with the family and friends of the man who died and those who were injured.

On behalf of the people of London – and the whole country – I want to thank the police and the emergency services once again for responding as they always do with great professionalism and courage.

Extra police resources have already been deployed to reassure communities, and the police will continue to assess the security needs of Mosques and provide any additional resources needed, especially during this final week before Eid Al-Fitr, a particularly important time for the whole Muslim community.

This was an attack on Muslims near their place of worship. And like all terrorism, in whatever form, it shares the same fundamental goal.

It seeks to drive us apart; and to break the precious bonds of solidarity and citizenship that we share in this country.

We will not let this happen.

When I stood here for the first time as Prime Minister last Summer I spoke about our precious belief in the Union – not just the bond between the four nations of the United Kingdom – but the bond between all our citizens, every one of us, whoever we are and wherever we are from.

At the heart of that bond is a belief in the fundamental freedoms and liberties that we all cherish; the freedom of speech; the freedom to live how we choose and yes, the freedom to practice religion in peace.

This morning we have seen a sickening attempt to destroy those freedoms; and to break those bonds of citizenship that define our United Kingdom.

It is a reminder that terrorism, extremism and hatred take many forms; and our determination to tackle them must be the same whoever is responsible.

As I said here two weeks ago, there has been far too much tolerance of extremism in our country over many years – and that means extremism of any kind, including Islamophobia.

That is why this Government will act to stamp out extremist and hateful ideology – both across society and on the internet, so it is denied a safe space to grow.

It is why we will be reviewing our Counter-Terrorism strategy and ensuring that police and security services have the powers they need.

And it is why we will establish a new Commission for Countering Extremism as a statutory body to help fight hatred and extremism in the same way as we have fought racism – because this extremism is every bit as insidious and destructive to our values and our way of life and we will stop at nothing to defeat it.

Today's attack falls at a difficult time in the life of this city, following on from the attack on London Bridge two weeks ago – and of course the unimaginable tragedy of Grenfell Tower last week, on which I will chair another meeting of Ministers and officials later today.

But what we have seen throughout – whether in the heroism of the ordinary citizens who fought off the attackers at London Bridge; the unbreakable resolve of the residents in Kensington; or this morning the spirit of the community that apprehended this attacker – is that this is an extraordinary city of extraordinary people.

It is home to a multitude of communities that together make London one of the greatest cities on earth.

Diverse, welcoming, vibrant, compassionate, confident and determined never to give in to hate.

These are the values that define this city. These are the values that define this country. These are the values that this government will uphold. These are the values that will prevail.

The BBC has obtained footage of the suspected attacker being pinned to the ground by members of the Muslim community shortly after the suspected terror attack.

One person can be heard shouting, "Why do you kill Muslims?" as others try to restrain him.

More video has emerged of the suspected attacker being detained by police in the aftermath of the incident.

The man, aged 48, was arrested on suspicion of attempted murder.

Video shows suspected Finsbury Park mosque attacker arrested by policeReuters

Prime Minister Theresa May has been speaking outside Number 10.

She described the suspected terror attack as "every bit as sickening" as the other recent terrorist attacks.

She says her government is determined to stamp out extremism of all forms.

Extremist monitoring group Site says white supremacists have celebrated the attack.

One declared it as "hope for the British".

IBTimes UK reporter Isabelle Gerretsen has reported on what witnesses saw during the attack.

The terror suspect shouted "kill me" as he was pinned down by bystanders, onlookers said.

You can read our full story here:

The Independent is reporting that the suspected attacker "tried to flee on foot but ran down a dead-end street, forcing him to run back towards [the] crowd of people he had just attacked".

The Secretary of State for Wales, Alun Cairns MP, said South Wales Police was working with officers from London on the investigation.

The van used in the suspected terror attack had the logo of Pontyclun Van Hire on the front and side. The company is based near Cardiff.

Cairns MP said: "I have this morning spoken to the Chief Constable of South Wales Police, Mr Peter Vaughan.

"He has assured me that his team is fully engaged and working in partnership with the London Metropolitan Police as the investigation into the abhorrent attack at Finsbury Park gets under way.

"I am working closely with colleagues across Whitehall and receiving regular updates. It is crucial that the authorities are now given the time and the space to conduct these important enquiries.

"My thoughts and prayers are with all those affected today."

A picture showing a priest leaving flowers near the scene of the suspected terror attack.

Earlier today the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, condemned the attack, and warned: "Violence only begets more violence."

A priest leaves flowers near the scene of an attack where a van ploughed into a group of Muslims outside a mosque in Finsbury Park, north London, on 19 June.REUTERS/Hannah McKay

Buzzfeed reporter James Ball, who lives a short distance from the scene of the suspected terror attack, tweets:

Commenting on the terrorist incident near Finsbury Park mosque in north London, Liberal Democrat leader Tim Farron said:

"The Finsbury Park attack is senseless barbarism. Yet again we are rocked by a horrific incident for which there is no rhyme or reason.

"People who commit these heinous acts want to divide us, force us to turn in on ourselves and fight each other. We cannot and must not let them win. Our values matter, we must stand together.

"My deepest sympathies are with the victims and their families.

"I would like to pay tribute to the bravery and dedication of the emergency services, who, yet again, have gone above and beyond to help those in need. In these moments while others run in the opposite direction, our emergency services run towards danger."

Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, Sajid Javid, has arrived in Finsbury Park to meet residents and emergency service workers. He is also speaking with the media.

Miqdaad Versi, assistant secretary general of the Muslim Council of Britain, has welcomed news of extra police and patrols around mosques in the wake of the attack.

But he said not enough had been done in the past to prevent attacks on Muslims.

He told the BBC: "Many of people across the country [have] been talking about a rise in hate crime against Muslims for a long time. This is not a one-time incident. It's happened again and again and again. There's been a bomb against Finsbury Park Mosque, which happened last year. There's been a murder of a Muslim individual, a terror attack a couple of years ago. There's been attack after attack against Muslims and it feels that this is not being taken seriously. Muslim communities are worried."

Local MP and Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has been speaking to Sky News at the scene.

"I live down there on Seven Sisters Road, and obviously I was aware of the incident very quickly. There was a number of police vehicles and a helicopter overhead. I know the people in Muslim Welfare House and the mosque extremely well, and the community very well.

"I came here last night to talk to the police and the firefighters and ambulance who were here. I have to say the response by all three emergency services was very timely and very quick.

"The police managed to arrest the suspect who was driving the van and take him away from the area. And sadly the gentleman who died [his] body was on the ground and was covered respectfully by a tent so that forensic examination could take place."

"He looked indifferent, it looked like he didn't really care about what he did," another witness speaking to the BBC said of the suspected terror attacker.

There has been widespread condemnation of the suspected terror attack from political figures, both past and present. Here are a few more:

The Green Party's co-leader, Jonathan Bartley, has responded to the suspected terrorist attack. He urged the prime minister to "avoid knee-jerk responses that might appear tough on paper but end up handing terrorists a victory they crave: a curtailment of our freedoms."

He also called for more to be done to tackle hate crime and Islamophobia, and for a full review of anti-terror laws and the Prevent programme, which he said "unfairly targets Muslims".

He said: "I am shocked, appalled and deeply saddened by the attack in Finsbury Park which appears to have been targeted, hate filled and designed to spread division and fear. It is particularly despicable that the attack was aimed at those seeking to help an individual who was already suffering.

"My thoughts and prayers go to every person directly affected by this attack and to Muslim communities right across the country. Once again our amazing emergency services appear to have responded with diligence and deserve our gratitude for their life saving action.

"This was an attack directed at Muslims but it was also an attack on all of us. In the past month, the people of this country have shown enormous resilience and unity in response to some truly horrific events and it is that unity and togetherness that will make us stronger as we face down these threats.

"This attack plays into the hands of terrorists and threatens to exacerbate a downward spiral of even greater violence. The prime minister must avoid knee-jerk responses that might appear tough on paper but end up handing terrorists a victory they crave: a curtailment of our freedoms.

"The security of mosques and Muslim communities must be a priority right now, particularly during the remainder of Ramadan. But many Muslims clearly feel the rise in hate crime and Islamophobia has not been taken seriously or challenged robustly enough.

"This must be urgently addressed. A full review of anti-terror laws should take place and this should include reviewing the Prevent programme, which unfairly targets Muslims."

More from one of the witnesses of the suspected terrorist attack, who said an imam protected the driver as he was being attacked by worshippers.

"The driver was eventually dragged out the car and pinned to the floor and people were hitting him and punching him," he told the BBC.

He added: "The imam actually came out of the mosque and said, 'do not hit him, pin him down and call the police,' which was the right thing to do."

You can read more about that Imam's actions in our story here:

A witness of the suspected terror attack has said Muslims are scared to go to mosques to pray.

"Why should we have to live out of fear to practice our religion?" he asked.

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan said earlier today there had been a definite spike in hate crime following the London Bridge terrorist attacks.

The Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, has described the suspected terror attack as a "crime against God and against humanity".

IBTimes UK reported Ludovica Iaccino, currently at the scene of the suspected terror attack, says there is a lot of hostility against the media from some local Muslims.

"They blame the media for portraying Muslims in a bad light," she says.

She reported live from the scene a short while ago:

"Terrorism is terrorism," Mayor of London Sadiq Khan tells Sky News.

"We're a great city. We can't allow these terrorists to fuel division or to change the way we lead our lives."

He went on to urge any victim of hate crime to report the incident to the police.

"The good news is [that] after the Westminster Bridge terrorist attack we didn't see a big spike in hate crime [or] Islamophobic crime ... The bad news is we have seen a big spike after London Bridge."

More video footage of the man detained by police has emerged. Police confirmed a 48-year-old man suspected of being the driver of the van had been arrested on suspicion of attempted murder.

Far-right groups have been posting on social media links between prior Islamic extremists and Finsbury Park Mosque, near to where the suspected terror attack happened.

IBTimes UK's Orlando Crowcroft wrote in 2015 how the mosque had driven out radical jihadis. You can read his piece here:

A police van has been spotted outside Pontyclun Van Hire in South Wales – where the vehicle used in the suspected terrorist attack appeared to be hired from.

A van believed to be involved in an incident near a mosque in Finsbury Park in which the van ploughed into pedestrians, is pictured on 19 June 2017 in London, EnglandCarl Court/Getty Images

"Quote of the day" at Finsbury Park tube station.

Metropolitan Police Commissioner Cressida Dick has released a statement, saying additional police patrols have been deployed across the city and at mosques in the wake of the suspected terror attack.

She said: "London has woken up to the news of another appalling attack on our city.

"My thoughts are with the family of the man who has died and with all those who were injured.

"My officers were on the scene almost immediately, and other uniformed and specialist officers quickly arrived to support them. They worked quickly with colleagues from the other emergency services to treat the injured.

"I want to thank all those members of the public who assisted police and emergency services in our task.

"There is now an ongoing investigation by our Counter Terrorism Command to establish why this attack was carried out.

"London is a city of many faiths and many nationalities. An attack on one community is an attack on all of us.

"Terrorists will not succeed in their attempts to divide us and make us live in fear."

"Extra officers are on duty in the area to help reassure the local community. They will be there for as long as they are needed.

"Communities will see additional officers patrolling across the city and at Muslim places of worship. We are working as hard as we can to protect all our communities, and we will not be defeated."

Metropolitan Police Commissioner Cressida DickGetty

Pro-Islamic State channels on online messaging service Telegram are using reports of the suspected terrorist attack to incite Muslims, according to terrorism experts.

One post said: "Oh Muslims you need to wake up the war starting on your own streets."

Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson tweets:

Here is the full statement from the Met Police's deputy assistant commissioner, Neil Basu.

"Sadly Londoners are waking to the news of another dreadful incident in the Capital that has left a number of people seriously injured.

"The attack unfolded whilst a man was receiving first aid from the public at the scene, sadly, he has died. Any causative link between his death and the attack will form part of our investigation.It is too early to state if his death was as a result of the attack.

"Our thoughts are with all those affected by the incident at Seven Sisters Road and their family, friends and their communities.

"No matter what the motivation proves to be, and we are keeping an open mind, this is being treated as a terrorist attack and the Counter Terrorism Command is investigating.

"This was an attack on London and all Londoners and we should all stand together against extremists whatever their cause.

"From 00:21hrs this morning police received a number calls to Seven Sisters Road following a van having collided with pedestrians.

"Officers were in the immediate vicinity as the attack unfolded and responded instantly. Additional officers arrived within 10 minutes.

"One man was pronounced dead at the scene. Eight others are in hospital and two more were treated at the scene.

"All the victims were from the Muslim community.

"I would like to praise police officers who immediately gave life saving treatment at the scene, but also members of the public who assisted before and after the incident.

"Also at the scene, detained by members of the public, was the man suspected of being the driver. He was arrested by police on suspicion of attempted murder.

"I would like to thank those people who helped police in detaining the man and worked with officers to calmly and quickly get him into our custody.

"Their restraint in the circumstances was commendable.

"This investigation is ongoing, and we are working fast to know the full details of how and why it took place.

"At this early stage of the investigation, no other suspects have been identified or reported to police, and there were no reports of any people having suffered any knife injuries.

"The van used was examined by specialist officers but nothing that would cause a risk to the public was found in it.

"Extra policing resources have been deployed across London in order to reassure communities, especially those observing Ramadan.

"I would urge everyone to remain calm and vigilant.

"I would ask the public with any information about this incident, or anything that causes them concern or suspicion, to call the police on 0800 789 321.

"Obviously we are at an early stage in our investigation, however as and when I can make more information available, I will.

"This has been incredibly challenging time for London and emergency services are stretched.

"Nevertheless, we will do absolutely all we can - with our partners - to protect Londoners and our city

"Now is a time once again for London to stand together to face those who seek to divide us."

Brendan Cox, the husband of murder Labour MP Jo Cox, has condemned figures on the far right in the wake of the suspected terror attack – accusing them of inciting violence.

It was one year ago on Friday that his wife was murdered by far-right fanatic Thomas Mair.

More from IBTimes UK reporter Ludovica Iaccino, who is currently at the scene of the suspected terrorist attack.

She says there's "lots of disbelief and pain" over what happened.

The deputy assistant commissioner for the Met Police, Neil Basu, has been speaking to the press.

He says the man killed in the attack was already receiving first aid from the public when the incident happened.

"This is being treated as a terrorist attack," he said.

"It's the first time I've seen a person die," a witness told Sky News. He spoke of how the suspected attacker was dragged out of the van by a bystander.

Home Secretary Amber Rudd has been speaking to the media about the attack.

Sultan Ahmed, 34, whose uncle witnessed the attack, has been speaking to The Daily Telegraph.

He said the driver shouted, "Kill all Muslims," as he ploughed into the crowd of worshippers.

He also claimed that a total of three men were in the van, but two had escaped. However, the Met Police said "no other suspects at the scene have been identified or reported" to the force.

Ahmed, a charity worker, claimed the deceased victim was an elderly Bangladeshi man who had just left the Muslim Welfare Mosque on Seven Sisters Road.

He said: "My uncle had just left the mosque when an elderly man who was in front of him fell ill and collapsed on the ground.

"A group of worshippers were crowding round to help him when the van drove at them and ran over the old man. There were at least two others who looked to be in a very bad way.

"My uncle said the driver had shouted 'I want to kill all Muslims'. There were also reports that the van had been parked over the road waiting for people to leave the mosque."

IBTimes UK reporter Ludovica Iaccino is down at the scene of the attack. Follow her on Twitter for live updates.

Aerial footage of the van allegedly used in the suspected terror attack has emerged.

Aerial footage shows white van used by Finsbury Park attackerReuters

Home Secretary Amber Rudd has released a statement confirming the police are treating the attack as a terrorist incident.

She said: "My thoughts are with all those affected by the appalling incident at Finsbury Park. I am in contact with the Metropolitan Police who have confirmed it is being investigated by their Counter Terrorism Command.

"Yesterday, like so many others around the country, I took part in the Great Get Together to celebrate the values of Jo Cox. It was powerful and moving to see the community come together in a show of solidarity. We must all continue to stand together, resolute, against all those who try to divide us and spread hate and fear."

Jeremy Corbyn says he is "totally shocked" by what happened. The Labour leader, whose Islington North constituency includes Finsbury Park, says he will attend prayers at Finsbury Mosque later today.

He said: "I am shocked by this horrific and cruel attack in Finsbury Park, which is being treated as an act of terror.

"I offer my condolences to the family and friends of the man who has died, and our thoughts are with the people who have been injured, their family and friends.

"As the local MP, I have met with Muslim community leaders at the Muslim Welfare House alongside Islington Council Leader Richard Watts, the council's Chief Executive Lesley Seary and the Metropolitan Police.

"Richard and I will attend prayers at Finsbury Park mosque later today.

"I appeal for people and the media to remain calm and respectful of those affected.

"In the meantime, I call on everyone to stand together against those who seek to divide us."

A witness tells Buzzfeed News about the incident, saying the attacker shouted: "I'm gonna kill all Muslims, I'm gonna kill all Muslims."

The president of Jewish security group Shomrim, Rabbi Herschel, has spoken of his shock at the attack, saying his group stands together with the victims.

He has been speaking to Press Association at the scene.

Emily Thornberry, shadow foreign secretary and Labour MP for Islington South and Finsbury, has tweeted her reaction to the attack.

Another image of the van, which looks to have been hired in Wales, has emerged.

A van believed to be involved in an incident near Finsbury Park Mosque in which the van ploughed into pedestrians, is pictured on 19 June 2017 in London, EnglandCarl Court/Getty Images

Another witness, Abdikadar Warfa, has been speaking to Press Association. He says the people hit were "mostly young".

He said: "I saw a man underneath the van. He was bleeding. My friend said he had to lift the van. I was busy with a man who tried to escape. My friend said he said some words, but I didn't hear it.

"They (people who were hit) were mostly young. They are very bad.

"I tried to stop him (the suspect), some people were hitting him but I said stop him and keep him until the police came.

"He was trying to run away but people overpowered him. He was fighting to run away."

Many of the UK's national newspapers had already gone to print before news broke of the attack but several ran front page stories in later editions.

Labour's shadow home secretary, Diane Abbott, has called for an urgent review of security for all mosques.

Her Hackney North and Stoke Newington constituency lies close to the scene.

She tweeted: "Terror attack outside #FinsburyPark mosque. Police must urgently review security for all mosques #StandTogether."

"At this early stage of this investigation, no other suspects at the scene have been identified or reported to police, however the investigation continues," Met Police said in a statement. They added that the Counter Terrorism Command is conducting the investigation

A witness has been telling Press Association what he saw.

"I was sitting in the coffee shop just a couple of minutes away. One of our friends was reporting what was going on in the front of the mosque.

"He said the car was smashing into the people getting out of the mosque, so we just ran away, all of us, and came to see what's happening.

"When I came I saw ambulance people taking people to the ambulance. I think between eight to 10 people were taken away.

"There was an old man – about 60 years old – I don't know if he's alive or dead. There were other people, mid-30 to 40. There are men and women.

"We are shocked when we heard the news because we were just having a good time. We were praying for peace and for Grenfell Tower. When we heard this we were actually shocked."

Met Police have urged witnesses or anyone with any information on the incident to contact police via 101, or via Twitter @MetCC.

To give information anonymously call Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 or visit crimestoppers-uk.org.

It has emerged that the white van used in the attack was hired in Wales .

Men pray after a vehicle collided with pedestrians near a mosque in the Finsbury Park neighbourhood on 19 June 2017Reuters

Prime Minister Theresa May said police were treating the incident in Finsbury Park "as a potential terrorist attack". She added she would chair a meeting of the Cobra emergency committee later in the morning on Monday, 19 June.

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan has condemned 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 in a statement posted on Facebook.

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