London mosque attack 'clearly' aimed at Muslims

Posted: Updated:

LONDON (AP) - London police say a 47-year-old man has been arrested on suspicion of commission, preparation or instigation of terrorism including murder as well as attempted murder after a car plowed into a crowd of pedestrians near a north London mosque.

The man, who is in custody at a south London police station, was arrested earlier on suspicion of attempted murder.

The Metropolitan Police said in a statement that the man was detained by members of the public at the scene of the attack early Monday.

Authorities say a residential area in Cardiff, Wales, is also being searched.

Deputy Assistant Commissioner Neil Basu says: "This is being treated as a terrorist incident and is being investigated by the Counter Terrorism Command."

London's police commander says the van attack near Finsbury Park Mosque was clearly an attack on Muslims.

Commander Cressida Dick, speaking Monday in the London neighborhood of Finsbury Park, says people in Muslim communities will see more of their police protecting them in the coming days.

London Mayor Sadiq Khan, meanwhile, paid tribute to the local community who apprehended the attacker near the mosque, especially the religious leader who kept him safe from mob violence.

Khan says all these incidents are attacks on the city's shared values. He vows "we will not allow these terrorists to succeed ... we will stay a strong city." Khan also declared that British officials have "zero tolerance" for hate crimes.

UK Prime Minister Theresa May has described the attack as a "sickening" attempt to destroy liberties that unite Britain, such as freedom of worship.

May says the man who plowed a van into a crowd of people leaving evening prayers acted alone and that people outside the mosque apprehended him.

Ten people were injured and police are investigating whether a man who died while being given first aid at the scene died from the attack or something else.

Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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