In an incident being treated as a possible terrorist attack, one man was killed early Monday after a van plowed into a crowd of worshipers leaving a mosque in North London. Ten other people were injured.
Counter-terrorism police were called out to investigate the incident, which occurred in the Finsbury Park neighborhood just after midnight. A witness told the BBC that the driver said, “I want to kill Muslims,” as he tried to flee the scene. But he was overpowered by bystanders and detained until police arrived.
Scotland Yard said they had arrested a 48-year-old man. His name was not released. Although one witness told Sky News that two other people fled the scene, police said there were no other suspects at present but that the investigation is in its early stages.
If confirmed as a terrorist attack, it would be one in which an anti-Muslim fanatic adopted the recent tactics of Islamic terrorists.
The incident follows only weeks after three Islamic attackers drove a van into pedestrians on London Bridge and then went on a knife rampage through busy Borough Market, killing eight people. Vehicles have also been also used to attack the public on London’s Westminster Bridge, in Nice, France, and in Berlin.
Monday’s incident took place during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, when worshipers traditionally fast during the daytime and worship at night.
British Prime Minister Theresa May said she would chair an emergency response meeting later on Monday morning. “All my thoughts are with the victims, their families and the emergency services,” she said in a statement.