In a city already on edge, another episode jangled nerves in London early Monday morning.
A van struck worshipers exiting the Finsbury Park Mosque after midnight Ramadan prayers, killing one person and injuring at least eight others, police said. Metropolitan Police called the crash a “major incident” and said counterterrorism officials were investigating. One person has been arrested.
The incident comes less than a week after a blaze tore through a 24-story residential building in the city, killing nearly 60 people in what is being called the nation’s worst residential fire since World War II. On Sunday, a top British official questioned whether sub-par insulating panels added to the Grenfell Tower during an energy-efficiency renovation were behind the high-rise fire.
While Metropolitan Police declined to say yet whether Monday’s incident in North London was deliberate or accidental, it follows a string of terror attacks in the city and around Britain, some of which had eerie parallels.
• On June 3, a van rammed pedestrians on London Bridge at excessive speed and continued its rampage at Borough Market, an area packed with a vibrant nightlife. There, police say three suspects exited the vehicle and began stabbing pedestrians. Eight people died and at least 48 were injured. The three attackers, who all donned fake explosive vests, were shot and killed by police.
• On May 22, at least 22 people died and more than 100 were injured when suicide bomber Salman Ramadan Abedi detonated an improvised explosive device outside a concert by American pop singer Ariana Grande at the Manchester Arena in northwestern England.
• On March 22, five people died and dozens were injured after Khalid Masood plowed his car into pedestrians on Westminster Bridge before fatally stabbing a policeman outside Parliament. Masood was shot dead by police. The Islamic State said a “soldier” from the group carried out the attack, but police said Masood had no links to extremist groups.
Monday’s incident occurred in a neighborhood with two mosques, and it was common for worshipers to fill the area late at night after Ramadan prayers.
The Finsbury Park Mosque originally opened to the public in 1994. It was associated with extremist ideology for several years after the 9/11 attacks in the U.S. “Shoe bomber” Richard Reid was one of its attendees. But it was shut down and reorganized and reopened to the public in 2005. The mosque has not been associated with radical views for more than a decade.
Contributing: The Associated Press. Follow Susan Miller on Twitter: @susmiller
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