Finsbury Park attack: Theresa May announces review of security at mosques following latest terror assault
“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,” Theresa May said in Downing Street. Ms May said the attack, at about 12.20am on Monday, targeted the “ordinary and innocent” and added: “Hatred and evil of this kind will never succeed.”
One man, who was reportedly already receiving first aid when the van struck, died at the scene and 10 other people were injured as Muslims were leaving Finsbury Park mosque after late-night prayers. A 48-year-old man has been arrested on suspicion of attempted murder, police said.
Officers were at the scene within a minute and the incident was declared terror-related within eight, according to the PM.
“We will stop at nothing to defeat” extremism, Ms May said outside Number 10 as she reaffirmed her plan to establish a commission for countering extremism, which she said had been given too much room to grow in the UK. The attack on Muslims was “every bit as insidious and destructive to our values and our way of life” as the recent string of terror attacks apparently motivated by Islamist extremism, she added. Police in London recorded a spike in the number of Islamophobic incidents in the wake of the London Bridge outrage earlier this month, with 20 recorded on 6 June, compared with a daily average of 3.5.
It was the highest daily tally for 2017, and also higher than the numbers registered after the Paris attacks in November 2015, and the murder of Lee Rigby in May 2013.
In a speech last week, a former police chief warned that anti-Muslim sentiment online has been “relentless” following the London Bridge attack on 3 June.
Mak Chishty, an ex-Metropolitan Police commander who had been the country’s most senior Muslim officer before his retirement, said: “The backlash has been something of a different scale.”
Additional reporting by agencies
Finsbury Park attack: Muslim Council demands extra security around mosques after one killed and 10 injured
The Muslim Council of Britain has called for extra security around mosques, describing the Finsbury Park van attack as “the most violent manifestation” of Islamophobia. The council’s secretary general Harun Khan said he expected authorities to step up security “as a matter of urgency”, adding many would feel “terrorised” following the incident outside the Muslim Welfare House in Seven Sisters Road.
One man was killed and 10 others injured when a van drove into worshippers1 who had just left the Finsbury Park mosque after prayers. Police are treating it as a potential terrorist attack . One white man, aged 48, was arrested by police.
Mr Khan said: “According to eyewitness accounts and videos taken after the incident, it appears that a white man in a van intentionally ploughed into a group of worshippers who were already tending to someone who had been taken ill.
“We do not know how many were injured or killed, but our prayers are with the victims and families. Treating the wounded: Paramedics and police at the scene of the crash in Finsbury Park (James Gourley/Rex Features)
“During the night, ordinary British citizens were set upon while they were going about their lives, completing their night worship . It appears from eyewitness accounts that the perpetrator was motivated by Islamophobia.
“Over the past weeks and months, Muslims have endured many incidents of Islamophobia and this is the most violent manifestation to date. A woman is helped away (James Gourley/Rex Features)
“Given we are approaching the end of the month of Ramadan and the celebration of Eid with many Muslims going to local mosques, we expect the authorities to increase security outside mosques as a matter of urgency.
“Muslim communities have been calling for increased action to tackle the growth in hate crime for many years and transformative action must now be taken to tackle not only this incident but the hugely worrying growth in Islamophobia.
“Many will feel terrorised, no doubt be angry and saddened by what has taken place tonight.
Man arrested as van hits mosque crowd
“We urge calm as the investigation establishes the full facts, and in these last days of Ramadan, pray for those affected and for justice.”
Mohammed Shafiq, of the Ramadhan Foundation, a Muslim organisation which speaks out against extremism, said: “I utterly condemn the senseless and evil van attack against Muslim worshippers outside the Finsbury Park Mosque in London.
“According to eyewitnesses this was a deliberate attack against innocent Muslims going about their life.
“We should make clear that if this attack is confirmed as a deliberate terrorist attack then this should be classed as an act of terrorism.
“The British Muslim community requires all decent people to stand with us against this evil violence.
“Rampant Islamaphobia has been on the rise for a number of years and those on the far right have perpetuated hatred against Muslims.
“They should be called out for their hatred.
“The days ahead will be difficult, but with unity and tolerance we will prevail .
We will not allow these far right extremists to divide our diverse communities.
“Enough is enough, my condolences and prayers for all the victims and their families .
They are in my prayers.”
Meanwhile, chairman of the mosque at Finsbury Park, Mohammed Kozbar, tweeted: “Our thoughts and prayers with those who got injured and effected by this cowardly attack in Finsbury Park area, many casualties in the floor.”
- ^ One man was killed and 10 others injured when a van drove into worshippers (www.standard.co.uk)
- ^ Reuse content (www.standard.co.uk)
There will be extra security at Glastonbury1 this year. While there is no intelligence to suggest a threat policing might look and feel slightly different this year warns the police. These are the main points:
1 . There remains no intelligence to suggest there is a specific threat to the event
2 . There will be more police around the perimeter of the event
There will be new uniforms and a new policing style
4 . Officers will be wearing body cameras
5 . Police have urged all ticket-holders to be patient as new security measures are put in place
In a statement, Assistant Chief Constable Caroline Peters, gold commander for the Glastonbury Festival police plan said:
“Public safety is always our top priority but we also want everyone going to the festival to have a great time.
“There is no intelligence to suggest a threat to Glastonbury Festival but we, along with the event organisers, will be taking extra security precautions this year.
“The policing style might look and feel slightly different this year there will be a higher visibility of officers on the parameters of festival helping security with searches.
“Our officers will also be wearing their new black uniforms, including their protective vests and body worn cameras – this is nothing different from officers on the beat across the region.
Ballerinas surround policemen in the Circus field (Photo: ANDREW COWIE/AFP/Getty Images)
“We ve always worked very closely with the event organisers and we have tried and tested plans in place for all eventualities.
“Like the rest of the UK, festival-goers should be alert but not alarmed.
“If you see anything suspicious, report it immediately . You can do this in the normal way – by calling 999 in an emergency or 101 if non-urgent . You can also report anything to officers or security staff on patrol on site .
In addition to this, we will also have the facility for festival-goers to come to the police compound and report any issues they might have.
“We would like to reiterate the advice that Glastonbury Festival has already issued about packing light and putting luggage tags or some form of ID on all your bags.
Your Glastonbury Festival essentials
“Be patient if there are queues all ticket holders will be subject to extra searches of their vehicles, their bags and their person at this year s festival.
“This might make entrance slower than in previous years but please be patient if you are in a queue and cooperate with any security requests and all searches.
“Don t forget to come and say hello to our officers on-site they will be happy to have a chat, offer advice, hand out crime prevention items and pose for a picture if you ask nicely!
“Make sure you are all following us on Twitter – @PoliceatGlasto for all the latest advice and photos from the festival.”