Finsbury Park terror attack: Van driver shouted ‘I want to kill all Muslims’ before ploughing into Muslims

Andy Wells
Freelance Writer

Here are the latest updates:

One man has been killed and eight injured after a white van ploughed into a group of worshippers in Finsbury Park in the latest terror attack to hit London.

Witnesses described hearing the man, who has been identified at 47-year-old Darren Osborne and was detained by members of the public at the scene, shout: “I’m going to kill Muslims.”

He is also alleged to have told the injured: “You deserve it.”

Theresa May has condemned the attack and branded it “every bit as sickening” as the recent atrocities in London and Manchester.

Police and community leaders have praised those who restrained the van driver and stopped others from attacking him before police arrived and arrested him on suspicion of attempted murder

According to an eyewitness, the suspect – a 48-year-old who was detained by onlookers before being arrested by police – screamed “I’m going to kill all Muslims” before he was tackled to the floor outside the Muslim Welfare House on Seven Sisters Road.

Abdulrahman Saleh Alamoudi said he was among a group of people helping an elderly worshipper who had fallen down, possibly due to the heat, when the van swerved towards them.

Abdikadar Warfa said he helped detain the alleged mosque attacker (PA)

He told BuzzFeed News: “This big van just came and went all over us.

“I think at least eight or 10 people got injured. Luckily I managed to escape. And then the guy came out of his van and I got him.

“He was screaming, he was saying, ‘I’m going to kill all Muslims, I’m going to kill all Muslims’. He was throwing punches.

MORE: Muslim leaders: Finsbury Park attack ‘senseless and evil’
MORE: What we know so far about the Finsbury Park attack

“Then we managed to get him on the floor. Then he was saying, ‘Kill me, kill me’.

“I said, ‘We are not going to kill you. Why did you do that?’ He wouldn’t say anything.”

Another witness, Abdikadar Warfa, told how he helped to detain the suspect while his friends helped victims.

The attacker ploughed into pedestrians near the Finsbury Park mosque (PA)

He said: ”I saw a man underneath the van. He was bleeding.

“My friend said he had to lift the van, I was busy with a man who tried to escape.

“My friend said he said some words, but I didn’t hear it.”

Speaking about the victims of the attack, he added: “They were mostly young. They are very bad.

“I tried to stop him (the suspect), some people were hitting him but I said stop him and keep him until the police came.

Armed police stand guard after pedestrians were ploughed into (PA)

“He was trying to run away but people overpowered him. He was fighting to run away.”

Mr Salah Alamoudi said he had also helped to hold the suspect on the ground for up to half an hour before police arrived.

He said: ”The guy, I had to keep him at least half an hour. He was a strong guy. A big man.

“It was heartbreaking. It wasn’t an accident.”

One resident told the Press Association he jumped out of the way as the van struck pedestrians.

At least 10 people are said to have been injured in the incident, which has so far resulted in one death (PA)

The man, who did not want to be named, said: “The gentleman went straight down this road, people were just conversing, talking, just doing what we’re doing. And 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.”

Another witness to the aftermath of the attack, Ratip Alsulaimen, said he was nearby when alerted by a friend.

Locals observe prayers at the scene of the attack (PA)

He said: “When I came I saw ambulance people taking people to the ambulance. I think between eight to 10 people were taken away.

“There was an old man – about 60 years old – I don’t know if he’s alive or dead. There were other people, mid-30 to 40. There are men and women.

“We are shocked when we heard the news because we were just having a good time. We were praying for peace and for Grenfell Tower.

“When we heard this we were actually shocked.”

Police declared it a terrorist incident within eight minutes.

Speaking after she chaired a meeting of the Government’s Cobra emergencies committee, the Prime Minister said the attack was “every bit as insidious and destructive to our values and our way of life” as the recent string of terror attacks apparently motivated by Islamist extremism.

“We will stop at nothing to defeat it,” she added.

Metropolitan Police Deputy Assistant Commissioner Neil Basu said: “This is being treated as a terrorist attack.”

He said eight people are in hospital and two others were treated at the scene.

All of the casualties were Muslims, he added.

Communities and Local Government Secretary Sajid Javid visited the scene and was seen comforting a woman, who was visibly shaking, outside the police cordon. He paused to speak with her as she wiped away tears with a tissue.

Mr Javid condemned what he described as an attack on innocent people.

Top pic: PA