UK prime minister Theresa May has called a terror attack outside a London mosque a “sickening attempt” to destroy freedoms in the UK.
A 48-year old man has been arrested after an incident where a van mounted a pavement outside Finsbury Park mosque after midnight on Monday morning, killing one with eight injured.
“This was attack on Muslims near their place of worship” said Ms May outside Downing Street on Monday, adding:
Like all terrorism, in whatever form, it shares the same fundamental goal.It seeks to drive us apart; and to break the precious bonds of solidarity and citizenship that we share in this country.We will not let this happen.
Police officers responded within one minute and it was declared a terrorist incident within eight minutes, said the prime minister.
A white man aged 48 was “bravely detained” by people at the scene, she said. An early assessment is the attacker acted alone.
Extra police forces have already been deployed in the Finsbury Park area in north London and officers will assess the security needs of mosques during the final week of Ramadan and ahead of the Muslim festival of Eid, said Ms May.
Following attacks in Manchester and London Bridge in the last month, Ms May said the government was determined to tackle extremism “whoever is responsible”.
“There has been far too much tolerance of extremism in our countries…extremism of any kind including Islamophobia”, she said.
The government will be establishing a new commission “for countering extremism to help fight extremism in the same way we fought racism”, she added.