Theresa May condemns ‘sickening’ attack at London mosque
June 19 (UPI) — British Prime Minister Theresa May condemned extremism Monday after an attack near a London mosque left one dead.
The driver of a van is in custody after he allegedly drove his vehicle into a group of people leaving the Finbury Park Mosque early Monday. One person was killed and 10 injured in what police immediately identified as a terrorist attack.
May, speaking outside the prime minister’s residence, said the incident was “every bit as sickening” as prior attacks in Britain. She added that the attack had “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.”
She said the attack was “every bit as insidious and destructive to our values and our way of life” as the recent incidents in London believed to have been motivated by Islamist extremism.
The driver of the vehicle said he wanted to “kill all Muslims,” Abdul Rahman, a witness to the attack, told the BBC. The vehicle struck a group of people who were gathered on a sidewalk to aid a man who had collapsed.
“Sadly, that man has died. It is too early to state if his death was a result of this attack,” said Neil Basu, deputy assistant commissioner of London’s Metropolitan Police.
Those leaving the mosque captured the alleged assailant and pinned him to the ground. Three men who restrained him later praised the efforts of Mohammed Mahmoud, imam of the mosque, who arrived at the scene and urged the crowd to remain calm and await police, the BBC reported Monday.
“Don’t hit him, hand him over to the police, pin him down,” a witness, Adil Rana, quoted Mahmoud as saying.
Extra police protection was deployed to reassure Muslim communities, London Mayor Sadiq Khan said.
“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,” Khan added.