A van has ploughed into people near the Finsbury Park MosqueLondon in north London, injuring nine people, and killing one.
A white 48-year old man had been arrested on suspicion of attempted murder, and is now also being held on suspicion of terrorist offences.
The vehicle he used was a van hired from Pontyclun Van Hire, a company which has said it will “assist the Police in any way” and has condemned the attack – which used one of their vehicles – as “cowardly”, adding that they are “shocked and saddened” by the incident.
Mohammed Mahmoud – an imam -was finishing his prayers when he was alerted of the attack. The imam headed outside and, with the help of others, surrounded the suspect to protect him.
He later told reporters:
“By God’s grace we managed to surround him and to protect him from any harm.
“We stopped all forms of attack and abuse towards him that were coming from every angle.”
“They [a group of other Muslims] managed to calm people down and extinguish any flames of violence or anger or mob rule that would that would have taken charge had this group of mature brothers not stepped in.”
Prime Minister Theresa May has condemned the “sickening” attack, and has said:
“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.”