Attack on Muslims in London Was Terrorism, U.K. Prime Minister Says*

Attack on Muslims in London Was Terrorism, U.K. Prime Minister Says*

Forensic investigators work the scene in the Finsbury Park area of north London on June 19, 2017, after a vehicle hit pedestrians

By Robert Mackey

“This morning, our country woke to news of another terrorist attack on the streets of our capital city,” British Prime Minister Theresa May said on Monday, hours after a white, male van driver drove into a crowd of Muslim pedestrians outside a mosque in north London, wounding at least 10 people.

“Hatred and evil of this kind will never succeed” – Theresa May responds to #FinsburyPark attack https://t.co/3A5ouLb4Ph pic.twitter.com/LH6iJUZD8P

— BBC Breaking News (@BBCBreaking) June 19, 2017

The attack outside the Finsbury Park mosque, May added, was “the second this month, and every bit as sickening as those which have come before.”

The Metropolitan Police confirmed later in the day that a 47-year-old suspect “was arrested for attempted murder” and “the commission, preparation or instigation of terrorism.” Officers on the scene first described it as “a terrorist incident” at 12:29 a.m. just eight minutes after they were alerted to the crime. A man who had fallen ill moments before the attack was pronounced dead at the scene 40 minutes after it, but it was not immediately clear if he was a victim of the attack.

May’s clear statement that the assault on innocent civilians was terrorist in nature stood in stark contrast to the reticence officials in the United States have shown about using that term to describe violence perpetrated by far-right extremists against Muslims. It also clashed with President Donald Trump’s obsession with only one form of terrorism, that carried put by “radical Islamic” fundamentalists.

Perhaps because the U.K. has relatively recent experience with a conflict, in Northern Ireland, in which more than a thousand civilians were killed by terrorists who were either Protestant or Catholic, British authorities are more forthright about acknowledging that terrorism is a tactic and a crime that is not specific to a single faith or ethnic group.

Similar language was used by the police and other leading politicians, including Jeremy Corbyn, the leader of the opposition Labour Party, and the city’s mayor, Sadiq Khan.

‘An attack on a mosque … is actually an attack on all of us’: Jeremy Corbyn on the #FinsburyPark terror attack https://t.co/gi4Jikjd1Y pic.twitter.com/mrXNadtbLq

— ITV News (@itvnews) June 19, 2017

London Mayor @SadiqKhan has condemned the #FinsburyPark terror attack pic.twitter.com/AwWYUbbpM5

— Sky News (@SkyNews) June 19, 2017

The suspected attacker was captured and turned over to the police by witnesses to the assault, who told BuzzFeed News that he made his motivation for it clear by screaming, “I’m going to kill all Muslims!”

Eyewitness tells @jamesrbuk man drove van at pedestrians outside London mosque, then shouted “Kill me, kill me, I want to kill all Muslims” pic.twitter.com/gSgTX05aSQ

— BuzzFeed News (@BuzzFeedNews) June 19, 2017

As the bystanders who tackled the driver held him down and waited for the authorities to arrive, one said, the man had urged them to kill him.

The police later praised a local imam, Mohammed Mahmoud, for urging people not to harm the attacker.

Footage shows the moment crowds restrain man suspected of driving van into pedestrians near #FinsburyPark mosquehttps://t.co/CBG8mzBpgY pic.twitter.com/NtYoQbLGXC

— BBC News (UK) (@BBCNews) June 19, 2017

Video of the suspect being loaded into a police van just before 1 a.m. local time, shared on social networks by witnesses, gave a sense of the raw anger among members of the community, who demanded to know how he could justify the murder of innocent civilians.

This racist bastard ran over innocent civilians on their way home from taraweh #FinsburyPark pic.twitter.com/YHvsVZHqIY

— Didier (@Known_As_H) June 18, 2017

 

In the aftermath of the attack, some observers suggested that anti-Muslim screeds in the British tabloids and on social networks could have incited the attacker to violence.

Just a couple of weeks since The Sun carried a headline stating ‘…We Need Less Islam’. A fool could see some might take it literally. https://t.co/S0VmTINCph

— James O’Brien (@mrjamesob) June 19, 2017

We need to look at the real issue of the radicalisation of supremacist terrorists aka right wing media #FinsburyPark

— Ahmed Masoud (@masoud_ahmed) June 19, 2017

Two notorious Islamophobes came in for particular criticism: the Daily Mail columnist Katie Hopkins and the former head of the English Defence League, Stephen Yaxley-Lennon, who uses the alias Tommy Robinson.

You’re a hate preacher @KTHopkins and it would appear that someone was listening #FinsburyPark pic.twitter.com/E8arelx5ve

— Otto English (@Otto_English) June 19, 2017

Two extremists.
Both shunned by Muslim Community.
Both preach hate to their minions.

Yet @TRobinsonNewEra not stopped. Why?#FinsburyPark pic.twitter.com/04V1Is2MNZ

— Siema Iqbal (@siemaiqbal) June 19, 2017

“Extremist preacher sends out chilling warning weeks before terror attack.” pic.twitter.com/pbUM69b9v1

— Imraan Siddiqi (@imraansiddiqi) June 19, 2017

Before the motive for the early morning attack was reported, Hopkins incorrectly suggested that it was Islamist in nature. Later on Monday, Robinson referred to it as a “revenge attack,” and claimed that it justified his dire prediction that far-right militias would soon form to defend Britain against the perceived threat from multiculturalism.

The attack came just after Britons marked the one-year anniversary of the assassination of Jo Cox, a pro-Europe member of Parliament who was killed by a pro-Brexit extremist who screamed “Britain First!” as he shot her.

Source*

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Theresa May’s Pact with the Devil*

The Day after the U.K. Election*

Five Times Western Media Failed to Call White Shooters Terrorists*

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