Police chief joins vigil in wake of ‘terror van attack’
Cressida Dick stood with the chairman of the Finsbury Park Mosque to observe a minute’s silence.
Metropolitan Police Commissioner Cressida Dick has joined a vigil held in the wake of a suspected terror attack which saw Muslim pedestrians mown down with a van.
The latest incident to hit the capital saw a white vehicle used by a man to deliberately target an area busy with worshippers attending Ramadan night prayers at a nearby mosque on Monday.
One man was pronounced dead at the scene on Seven Sisters Road, and nine others were taken to hospital.
A vigil held outside Finsbury Park Mosque, just a stone’s throw from the place where the incident unfolded at around 12.20am, saw the surrounding streets on Monday evening engulfed by people wishing to show their support.
Following a meeting with the chairman of the mosque, Mohammed Kozbar, Ms Dick stood with him to observe a short silence, and as he addressed the large crowd which had gathered, he praised the “great response” from the community.
“Yesterday we all experienced a horrific attack on our families, on our freedom, on our dignity. A man, a father of six children, being killed in cold blood and many injured by an extremist, by a terrorist,” Mr Kozbar said.
He said the attack was one of terror and that it was “similar” to those which have recently happened in Manchester, Westminster and London Bridge.
“These people, these extremists, their aim is to divide our communities, is to spread hatred, fear and division among our communities,” he said.
“We all have harmony in this area, and these people try to divide us, but we tell them that we will not let you do that.”
As Mr Kozbar finished speaking there were cheers and shouts of Allahu Akbar from the throng of people, with many holding signs which said “united against all terror”.
Other faith leaders from the community also spoke at the vigil, including the Bishop of Stepney the Rt Rev Adrian Newman, who told the crowd “an attack on one faith is an attack on us all”.
Rabbi Herschel Gluck said the incident hurt and was an attack on “every single Muslim in the UK and beyond”.
“But really an attack on the Muslim community is an attack on every single citizen in Great Britain, because we are one nation, under one god, living together, working together, co-operating together in this country,” he added.
Ms Dick said earlier on Monday that the incident was quite clearly an attack on Muslims, but she did not address the crowds that had gathered.
Scotland Yard said extra police patrols will be deployed t