Imam hailed for bravery after holding and protecting van attack suspect

Imam hailed for bravery after holding and protecting van attack suspect

An imam guarded the van driver who mowed down Muslim worshippers until the police arrived, telling a crowd: "Do not touch him."

The suspected terrorist was wrestled to the ground by passers-by after he had careered, reportedly smiling, through a crowd of pedestrians, including a man in a wheelchair.

Eyewitness Hussain Ali, 28, said that, while being restrained, the man was protected by the people he is thought to have been targeting.

He said: "The leader of the mosque said ’You do not touch him’. He was sitting and holding him like that, people kept holding him.

"All the police and helicopters came after around eight minutes."

Mr Ali described the horrifying scene unfolding outside the Islamic centre in north London early on Monday morning.

"All I heard was a banging, then I turned and saw all the shouting and running.

"I saw people taking a man from underneath the van, he was black, bleeding, he was not dead, he was alive.

"There was a man in a wheelchair, a man underneath the van, it was hell.

"People who were inside saw the attacker was smiling, he was waving, he was happy.

"It was panic, people were shouting, screaming, some saying it was an accident.

"It was panic, it was horror."

In the wake of the carnage, the valour of an imam called Mohammed Mahmoud was also hailed by the religious community.

Toufik Kacimi, chief executive of the Muslim Welfare House, said his "bravery and courage helped calm the immediate situation after the incident and prevented further injuries and potential loss of life".

PA

More on this topic

Finsbury Park attack suspect 'has been troubled for a long time'Finsbury Park attack suspect 'has been troubled for a long time'

Theresa May heckled during visit to site of London mosque attackTheresa May heckled during visit to site of London mosque attack

This is what the Muslim Council of Britain had to say on the Finsbury Park attackThis is what the Muslim Council of Britain had to say on the Finsbury Park attack

What we know so far about the Finsbury Park attackWhat we know so far about the Finsbury Park attack

More in this Section

Peter Handke takes Nobel Literature Prize amid protest over Serb war crimesPeter Handke takes Nobel Literature Prize amid protest over Serb war crimes

Brazilian president calls activist Greta Thunberg a ‘brat’Brazilian president calls activist Greta Thunberg a ‘brat’

Extinction Rebellion protesters target UK Conservative election busExtinction Rebellion protesters target UK Conservative election bus

Donald Trump lashes out at FBI chief after Russia probe reportDonald Trump lashes out at FBI chief after Russia probe report


Lifestyle

Ray Liotta never planned to be an actor. He only signed up for drama classes in college in a bid to dodge the more academic subjects, and didn’t make his first film until he was 30.Both sides now: Ray Liotta on his 40 year career

I am Jesus Christ! No, don’t worry, this writer’s ego isn’t quite that big. We won’t be turning water into wine. Rather, ‘I Am Jesus Christ’ is the name of a new game just announced on Steam.GameTech: The new video game 'I am Jesus Christ'

Johnny ‘Fang’ Murphy, frontman with Cork group The Stargazers, tells Ellie O’Byrne about the cultural milestones on his musical journey.Getting into the swing of things: Johnny 'Fang' Murphy on his musical journey

Clean skincare is cleaning up, but does it even mean anything in particular?The Skin Nerd: When clean does not always mean better

More From The Irish Examiner