Theresa May confirms terror investigation after fatal van attack in north London

Posted On: 
19th June 2017

Theresa May has confirmed that police are investigating a “potential terror attack” after a van ploughed into a group of pedestrians in north London, killing one person and injuring several more. 

Police at the scene of the suspected terror attack in Finsbury Park
Credit: 
Victoria Jones/PA Wire

A 48-year-old man was arrested at the scene of the Seven Sisters road incident, which appears to have been targeting Muslim worshippers leaving the nearby Finsbury Park mosque.

The Prime Minister will chair a meeting of the emergency Cobra committee later this morning to discuss the Government’s response.

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“All my thoughts are with the victims, their families and the emergency services on the scene,” Mrs May added in a statement.

The attack occurred just after midnight and one man was pronounced dead at the scene with eight others taken to hospital, the Metropolitan Police said in a statement.

The Met added: “The driver of the van – a man aged 48 – was found detained by members of public at the scene and then arrested by police in connection with the incident.

“He has been taken to hospital as a precaution, and will be taken into custody once discharged...

“The investigation of the incident is being carried out by the Counter Terrorism Command.

“At this early stage of this investigation, no other suspects at the scene have been identified or reported to police, however the investigation continues.”

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan described it as a “horrific terrorist attack on innocent people”.

“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,” he added.

“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.”

Home Secretary Amber Rudd invoked the message of late Labour MP Jo Cox to urge all parts of society to remain united.

“We must all continue to stand together, resolute, against all those who try to divide us and spread hate and fear,” she said.

Jeremy Corbyn, who is the local MP for the area, said: “I am totally shocked at the incident in Finsbury Park tonight.

"I’ve been in touch with the mosques, police and Islington council regarding the incident. My thoughts are with those and the community affected by this awful event.”

If confirmed as a terrorist attack, it will be the third time in recent months that a vehicle has been used as a weapon against pedestrians in London, following similar killings in Westminster and London Bridge.