IslingtonTribune

The independent London newspaper

‘This is for London Bridge’, Finsbury Park attacker shouted

Suspect shouted 'Kill me' as he was detained by members of the public

19 June, 2017 — By Emily Finch, Koos Couvée

Officers at the scene in Seven Sisters Road

THE Finsbury Park attacker shouted “this is for London Bridge” after ploughing a van into Muslim worshippers just after midnight, a witness has told the Tribune.

The van mounted the pavement and struck a group of people, killing one and injuring ten others, just after midnight near the Muslim Welfare House mosque in Seven Sisters Road.

In a dramatic eye witness account, a young Finsbury Park man, who did not want to give his name, said he believed the suspect made reference to the London Bridge attack two weeks ago after getting out of the van.

“He said: ‘I done my job. This is for London Bridge.’ And he was smiling, saying: ‘Kill me’, he said.

“The guy came out of the van by himself – it was only him – he ran away, he was trying to escape. He realised there is a fence and he has to do a U-turn.

“By that time, everybody is aware of what’s happened now. So when’s coming back past the van, he wants to get out to Seven Sisters Road, people attacked him. He deserved it. He’s very lucky to be alive.

“The guy was not normal. [Initially] I thought he was drunk, that it was like drink driving or something. But when we pinned him down, he was laughing, saying: ‘I done my job. Kill me.’ That’s when everyone slowed down, because he said ‘kill me’. Then the imam came out and said: ‘No one touch him’.”

Many of the victims had just left evening prayers at the Muslim Welfare House after breaking the Ramadan fast.

Witnesses said that man who died, a grandfather who lived on the nearby Six Acres estate but who has not yet been named, had just suffered a heart attack and was being resuscitated when the van struck.

Eight people injured were taken to three separate hospitals, while two others were treated at the scene for minor injuries.

The suspect was overpowered by members of the public before he was arrested. He has been taken to hospital.

The driver of the van – a 48-year-old man – was found detained by members of public at the scene and was arrested by police.

He has been taken to hospital as a precaution, and will be taken into custody once discharged, the Met said.

There are no reports of any persons having suffered any knife injuries.

Prime Minister Theresa May said police were treating it “as a potential terrorist attack”.

The attack took place during Ramadan, and worshippers were out on the streets in the Finsbury Park area, which is home to two mosques. It comes after two attacks in London in which pedestrians were struck by vehicles.

The first was in Westminster in March and and the second was a fortnight ago in London Bridge. In May a suicide bomber targeted a pop concert in Manchester, killing 23 people.

This afternoon members of the Muslim community met with politicians including the Prime Minister and Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn at Finsbury Park Mosque.

Mr Corbyn said he would ensure security would be enhanced at mosques and that he had discussions with police over how to protect worshippers.

Counter-terrorism officers remain at the scene. London Mayor Sadiq Khan said extra police are being deployed to reassure communities, especially those observing Ramadan.

 

 

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