Imam hailed as hero for protecting Finsbury Park van attacker

One man was killed and ten people were injured after a van was driven into a crowd of worshippers leaving Finsbury Mosque in north London at around 12.20am on Monday morning.London police chief Cressida Dick said the incident was “quite clearly an attack on Muslims” and promised a stepped-up police presence near mosques as the holy month of Ramadan draws to a close.One person died and 10 others were injured in the incident, which British Prime Minister Theresa May has called “sickening”, and London’s mayor has described as a “horrific terrorist attack”.In a statement, police said eight people were hospitalized while two others were treated at the scene.”The driver of the van – a man aged 48 – was found detained by members of the public at the scene”, according to the police report.The pedestrians had been helping a man who had collapsed.- March 22, 2017: A man drives his rented SUV into pedestrians at London’s Westminster Bridge, killing four people, then stabs a police officer to death before officers shoot and kill him.The Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) said “the incident reflected the rise of Islamophobia in Europe, especially after the recent terrorist attacks which had raised the concern for a potential backlash against the Muslim communities”.Manchester was also hit in May when a bomber killed more than 20 people at an Ariana Grande concert.Mayor Sadiq Khan, London’s first Muslim mayor, implored the city’s residents to show solidarity.”It is home to a multitude of communities that together make London one of the greatest cities on Earth – diverse, welcoming, vibrant, compassionate, confident and determined never to give in to hate”.The secretary general of the Muslim Council of Britain, Harun Khan, tweeted that the van had “intentionally run over worshippers” and that he was “shocked and outraged”.CNN national terror analyst Peter Bergen said the Finsbury Park neighborhood has a large Muslim population and the nearby mosque has a notorious reputation as a place where Islamist militants used to gather.Mahmoud also said that he and his colleagues would do everything they could to calm any tensions within the community.A police forensic tent erected at the scene in Finsbury Park, after a van collided with pedestrians.The attack occurred outside the Muslim Welfare House, a small mosque with about 200 congregants.Mahmoud says “By God’s grace, we were able to protect him from harm”.Monday’s attack is the fourth terror attack in the United Kingdom in four months, after incidents in Westminster, Manchester and on London Bridge.”Horrible attack on mosque attendees in London“.There will be more uniformed officers at places of worship, including mosques and Muslim community centres, as police try to reassure local people.Finsbury Park Mosque made headlines more than a decade ago for its links to radical preacher Abu Hamza al-Masri, who was sentenced to life a U.S. prison in January 2015 on terrorism-related charges.

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