Suspected terrorist in attack on London mosque said he wanted to kill all Muslims, say eyewitnesses

A police officer stands in front of Finsbury Park Mosque in north London, Britain, Jan 23, 2003.
A police officer stands in front of Finsbury Park Mosque in north London, Britain, Jan 23, 2003.PHOTO: EPA

LONDON - Witnesses at the scene of a suspected terrorist attack at a London mosque in the early hours of Monday (June 19) describe people flying as a van ploughed into worshippers after evening prayers.

"I just saw everyone flying," one witness, who asked to be identified as Khalid, told ABC News. "And then the guy got out of the van saying, 'where is all Muslims. I want to kill all Muslims'."

Khalid said three of this friends were injured after the white van mounted the sidewalk and drove deliberately into them, leaving at least one person dead and injuring 10.

"It was horrendous," Khalid said. "This is a terrorist attack and it was not an accident."

"He turned left into the alleyway, and he just drove at people," eyewitness Abdiqadir Warra told AFP.


"Some of them he took a few metres. A man was inside in the van, I saw with my eye, and the old man was also on the ground, and I see some people were also injured. Some of them were very bad."

Locals then pounced on the driver and pinned him down while waiting for the police to arrive. "The man, he tried to escape... but they caught the driver," Warra said.

Another eye witness, Ratip Alsulaimen, said: ""I was sitting in the coffee shop just a couple of minutes away. One of our friends was reporting what was going on in the front of the mosque. He said the car was smashing into the people getting out of the mosque, so we just ran away, all of us, and came to see what's happening."

"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," he said.

"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," added Alsulaimen.

While a 48-year-old man was arrested at the scene of the attack, according to the Met Police, some witnesses reported seeing three attackers, including two who fled the scene.

"There was three of them. Two of them ran away," delivery driver Mohammed Abdullah told Sky News. "The other was held at the scene until the police came. Some people wanted to beat him up.

One eyewitness, who asked to be identified as Mohamad, said the community was worried about returning to the area for prayers on Tuesday (June 20).

"Tomorrow, we're going to be here praying," Mohamad said. "We still have to look over our shoulders where we're going to go. Or we might have to even not come.