WITNESSES have described the aftermath after a van was driven into pedestrians near a north London mosque, leaving one man dead and eight injured.
According to one man at the scene, the suspect – a 48-year-old who was detained by onlookers before being arrested by police – screamed “I’m going to kill all Muslims” before he was tackled to the floor.
Abdulrahman Saleh Alamoudi said he was among people helping an elderly worshipper who had fallen down, perhaps because of the heat, when the van swerved towards them.
He told BuzzFeed News: “This big van just came and went all over us. I think at least eight or 10 people got injured. Luckily I managed to escape. And then the guy came out of his van and I got him.
“He was screaming, he was saying, ‘I’m going to kill all Muslims, I’m going to kill all Muslims’. He was throwing punches.
“Then we managed to get him on the floor. Then he was saying, ‘Kill me, kill me’. I said, ‘We are not going to kill you. Why did you do that?’ He wouldn’t say anything.”
Another witness, Abdikadar Warfa, said he helped to detain the suspect while his friends helped victims.
“I saw a man underneath the van. He was bleeding. My friend said he had to lift the van, I was busy with a man who tried to escape. My friend said he said some words, but I didn’t hear it,” he said.
“They (people who were hit) were mostly young. They are very bad. I tried to stop him (the suspect), some people were hitting him but I said stop him and keep him until the police came. He was trying to run away but people overpowered him. He was fighting to run away.”
One resident told the Press Association he jumped out of the way as the van struck pedestrians.
The man, who did not want to be named, said: “The gentleman went straight down this road, people were just conversing, talking, just doing what we’re doing. And he just came into all of us.
“There was a lot of people. We got told to move straight away. I was shocked, shocked, shocked. There were bodies around me. Thank God I just moved to the side, I just jumped. Everyone is hurt. Everyone is actually hurt.”
Another man, who gave his name as Mohin, said his cousin was caught up in the incident.
The 32-year-old told the Press Association: “There were a lot of people in the street, crossing the street, going to mosque for prayers, for forgiveness, just to pray and go home and eat.
“They are doing their usual daily routine – they did not expect a van coming out of nowhere hitting them. I’ve been living here all my life. As a community, everyone’s a family here. I initially thought it was my cousin.”