Mus­lims tar­geted by ve­hi­cle strike

The Washington Times Daily - - WORLD -

LON­DON | A ve­hi­cle struck Mus­lim pedes­tri­ans near a mosque in north Lon­don early Mon­day morn­ing, caus­ing sev­eral ca­su­al­ties, po­lice said.

One per­son has been ar­rested, whom wit­nesses said was a clean-shaven white man.

Eye­wit­ness Hil­lary Briffa, who saw the af­ter­math of the crash, told CNN that she could hear peo­ple scream­ing that “this is an act of ter­ror” and “white supremacy” be­fore turning the sus­pect over to au­thor­i­ties.

The Lon­don Am­bu­lance Ser­vice says the in­jured are be­ing taken to hos­pi­tals. Eye­wit­nesses re­ported see­ing po­lice give emer­gency med­i­cal treat­ment to at least one of the in­jured, and one young fe­male mosque­goer told CNN a friend of hers had been killed.

“From the win­dow, I started hear­ing a lot of yelling and screech­ing, a lot of chaos out­side. … Ev­ery­body was shout­ing: ‘A van’s hit peo­ple, a van’s hit peo­ple,’” another woman who lives op­po­site the scene told the BBC.

“There was this white van stopped out­side Fins­bury Park mosque that seemed to have hit peo­ple who were com­ing out af­ter prayers had fin­ished. I didn’t see the at­tacker him­self, al­though he seems to have been ar­rested, but I did see the van,” she said.

The Mus­lim Coun­cil tweeted that wor­ship­pers were de­lib­er­ately tar­geted by a van as they were leav­ing prayers at the Fins­bury Park mosque. It said its prayers are with the vic­tims.

The neigh­bor­hood has two mosques, and sev­eral hun­dred wor­ship­pers would have been in the area af­ter at­tend­ing prayers as part of the Mus­lim holy month of Ra­madan.

The Fins­bury Park mosque was as­so­ci­ated with Is­lamist ide­ol­ogy for sev­eral years af­ter the Sept. 11 ter­ror­ist at­tacks in the U, S, but was shut down and re­or­ga­nized. It has not been as­so­ci­ated with rad­i­cal views for more than a decade.

Lon­don po­lice closed the area to nor­mal traf­fic.

Metropoli­tan Po­lice said of­fi­cers were called to the scene on Seven Sis­ters Road at 12:20 a.m. Mon­day. Many po­lice cars and am­bu­lances re­sponded to the in­ci­dent.

Bri­tain’s ter­ror­ist alert has been set at “se­vere” mean­ing an at­tack is highly likely.

Ear­lier this month, a van veered into pedes­tri­ans on Lon­don Bridge, set­ting off ve­hi­cle and knife at­tacks that killed eight peo­ple and wounded many oth­ers on the bridge and in the nearby Bor­ough Mar­ket area. Three Mus­lim ex­trem­ists who car­ried out the at­tack were killed by po­lice.

Manch­ester was also hit by a se­vere at­tack when an Is­lamist sui­cide bomber killed more than 20 peo­ple at an Ariana Grande con­cert.

And in March, Khalid Masood drove a rented car into pedes­tri­ans, killing four peo­ple, on West­min­ster Bridge in Lon­don. He then stabbed a po­lice­man to death be­fore be­ing shot dead.

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