London Mosque Attack: PM May Says U.K. Too Tolerant of Extremism - Including Islamophobia

Witness says driver yelled 'I'm going to kill all Muslims' while ramming his van into worshipers

Two women watch proceedings at the security cordon at the scene of a van-ramming attack targeting Muslim worshipers, London, U.K., June 19, 2017.
Two women watch proceedings at the security cordon at the scene of a van-ramming attack targeting Muslim worshipers, London, U.K., June 19, 2017. TOLGA AKMEN/AFP

British Prime Minister Theresa May said the U.K. has been far too tolerant of all forms of extremism, including Islamophobia, after a van rammed into worshipers near a London mosque on Monday in a deliberate attack on Muslims.

"This morning, our country woke to news of another terrorist attack on the streets of our capital city: the second this month and every bit as sickening as those which have come before," she said outside her Downing Street office. 

"It was an attack that once again targeted the ordinary and the innocent going about their daily lives, this time British Muslims as they left a mosque after prayers." 

She said extra police resources would be deployed to provide reassurance, adding that hatred and evil would never succeed. 

Ten people were wounded in the incident, which struck Muslims during the holy month of Ramadan. One man has died, but police said it was not clear whether his death was directly linked to the attack. Eight others are in hospital, with two in a very serious condition.

"This big van just came and went all over us," witness Abdulrahman Saleh Alamoudi told BuzzFeed News. "He (the driver) was screaming... 'I'm going to kill all Muslims.'"

The Muslim Council of Britain said Monday's attack was the most violent manifestation of Islamophobia in Britain in recent months and called for extra security at places of worship. 

"It appears that a white man in a van intentionally ploughed into a group of worshippers who were already tending to someone who had been taken ill," the council said in a statement. 

Police said the suspected van driver, aged 48, had been detained by members of the public before being arrested on suspicion of attempted murder.