Man arrested for attempted murder after Regent’s Park mosque stabbing

By Henry Vaughan, PA

A man has been arrested on suspicion of attempted murder after a stabbing inside a mosque.

Police were called to London Central Mosque in Regent’s Park, central London, at around 3.10pm on Thursday.

A man in his 70s, who according to reports was leading the call to prayer, was found with stab injuries was taken to hospital.

Scotland Yard said he was treated by paramedics before being taken hospital, where his condition was assessed as non life-threatening.

Images posted to social media showed a white man in a red hooded top, jeans and bare feet being pinned to the floor by police officers inside the mosque, as others, including a small child, watched on.

One video showed a knife on the floor under a plastic chair.

A witness to the attack said the suspect had been a regular in the mosque, and had been seen at least six months ago.

Abi Watik, 59, said: “We were shocked we didn’t know what was happening.”

He said the victim had been stabbed once in the right shoulder moments after prayers had started, and he believed the suspect had waited for that moment.

He said: “It has just started and he was waiting for them to start.

“He was praying behind him and then he stabbed him.

“He (the suspect) was silent the whole time.”

Mustafa Field, director of the Faiths Forum for London, told reporters outside the mosque that worshippers had said it was “one stab, one strike, around the neck” of the victim.

He said: “Then the congregation members, some of them broke their prayers, and intervened, restrained the individual.

“The mosque security called the police, and the police were there within minutes, and he was restrained and taken away.”

He added: “I understand he was in the mosque for a while. He may have witnessed the beginning of the prayers.”

Police said officers continue to investigate the circumstances of the stabbing.