Witnesses to the suspected Finsbury Park terrorist attack claim a man shouted “I’m going to kill all Muslims” after a van ploughed into people near the area’s mosque.
At least one person was killed and another 10 injured when a van hit pedestrians following prayers at the Finsbury Park mosque in north London in the early hours of Monday morning.
A witness said he heard a man saying: ‘I’m going to kill all Muslims, I’m going to kill all Muslims’”.
The man, who wanted to be identified as Abdulrahman, which is not his real name, said he and his friends had stopped to help an elderly man who was lying on the floor at around 12.20am on Monday.
“In seconds this terrible thing happened,”‘ he said.
“Literally within a minute, a van with speed turned to where we were and ran over the man who was laying on the floor and the people around him, around eight people or 10 people got injured, some of them seriously. Thank God I’m safe, but my friends got injured.”
The van driver, described by witnesses as a large white man, was detained by members of the public after the attack in Seven Sisters Road.
Abdulrahman said: “I managed to get the driver of the van when he came out of his van.
“He wanted to run away and was saying, ‘I want to kill Muslims’. So he came back to the main road and I managed to get him to the ground and me and some other guys managed to hold him until the police arrived, for about 20 minutes I think, until the police arrived.
“People were very upset, people were shouting, people were saying, ‘where’s the police, where’s the ambulance?’ People were saying, ‘keep him on the ground’, people were asking questions, saying ‘why did you do this?’ People were laying down on the floor.”
Abdulrahman claimed the driver said “kill me”, as he was holding his head on the ground.
He added: “I said, ‘tell me why did you try driving to kill innocent people?’ When he went into the [police] van he made gestures, he was laughing.
“He deliberately did this. He caused this incident.”
Abdulrahman said he believed the old man, who had been lying on the ground before the attack, had passed away, while some of his friends remain in hospital.
Prime Minister Theresa May said police were treating it as a “potential terrorist attack”.
London mayor Sadiq Khan said: “While this appears to be an attack on a particular community, like the terrible attacks in Manchester, Westminster and London Bridge it is also an assault on all our shared values of tolerance, freedom and respect.”
Another witness said: “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.’
“There was this white van stopped outside Finsbury Park mosque that seemed to have hit people who were coming out after prayers had finished.”
Another, who asked not to be named, said: “He just came into all of us. There was a lot of people. We got told to move straight away.
“I was shocked, shocked, shocked. There were bodies around me. Thank God I just moved to the side, I just jumped. Everyone is hurt. Everyone is actually hurt.”