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19.06.17

Local leaders voice support for Islington after Finsbury Park terror attack

Messages of support and solidarity have once again been sent to London following another incident that has been classed as terror related.

In the early hours of this morning (19 June), a van ploughed into a group of people who had left Finsbury Park Mosque.

The group were helping an elderly man who had collapsed on the pavement when a white van came down the street, mounted the pavement and drove into them. One man has been confirmed dead and eight others are seriously injured following the incident.

The Metropolitan Police has now confirmed that an investigation by the Counter Terrorism Command team is underway to establish why the attack was carried out. A man thought to be the driver has also been arrested on suspicion of attempted murder.  

“My thoughts are with the family of the man who has died and with all those who were injured,” said Met Police commissioner Cressida Dick.

“My officers were on the scene almost immediately, and other uniformed and specialist officers quickly arrived to support them. They worked quickly with colleagues from the other emergency services to treat the injured.”

“London is a city of many faiths and many nationalities. An attack on one community is an attack on all of us,” she added. “Terrorists will not succeed in their attempts to divide us and make us live in fear.”

In a statement this morning, the Muslim Council of Britain (MCB) stated that it believed the perpetrator was motivated by Islamophobia, and called for security to be tightened around mosques.

Harun Khan, secretary general of the MCB, added: “Given we are approaching the end of the month of Ramadan and the celebration of Eid with many Muslims going to local mosques, we expect the authorities to increase security outside mosques as a matter of urgency.

“Many will feel terrorise, no doubt be angry and saddened by what has taken place tonight,” Khan added. “We urge calm as the investigation establishes the full facts, and in these last days of Ramadan, pray for those affected and for justice.”

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan also expressed his thoughts and prayers to everyone affected by the incident in a statement, writing: “I am grateful to the emergency services, who responded quickly and have been working on the scene throughout the night.

“We don’t yet know the full details, but this was clearly a deliberate attack on innocent Londoners, many of whom were finishing prayers during the holy month of Ramadan.

“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 our shared values of tolerance, freedom and respect.”

He also urged Londoners to stay “calm and vigilant” as police carried out investigations.

Islington Council, the authority who oversee the Finsbury Park area, stated: “Our deepest sympathies go out to all those affected by the major incident in Finsbury Park last night.

“We are working closely with emergency services and have contacted community leaders, Muslim Welfare House and Finsbury Park Mosque to offer support.”

Other local authority figures have also voiced their support for residents in the area following the attack, which is the fourth to have hit the country in as many months.

Mayor of Greater Manchester Andy Burnham tweeted: “Thoughts with everyone affected by the Finsbury Park attack. We’ll continue to stand united against extremists who seek a cycle of violence.”

And his colleague, Sir Richard Leese, the leader of Manchester City Council, also wrote: “Dreadful news from Finsbury Park. Sympathy for the injured and bereaved. Must not let violence breed more violence.”

Top Image: Victoria Jones PA WIre

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