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Incident in Finsbury Park

News   •  Jun 20, 2017 18:20 BST

[Image: Makram Ali]

Latest 12:00 hrs on Thursday, 22 June

Deceased named following terrorist attack plus investigative update

The man who died at the scene of the terrorist attack in Finsbury Park on Monday, 19 June has been formally identified as 51-year-old Makram Ali from Haringey.

Mr Ali’s family have been informed and are being supported by specially-trained family liaison officers.

A special post-mortem examination was carried out on Monday, 19 June at the Whittington Hospital. Preliminary findings are that Mr Ali died of multiple injuries.

Mr Ali came to the UK from Bangladesh when he was 10 years old. He was married with four daughters, two sons and two grandchildren. He regularly attended the local mosque and enjoyed visiting the local park with his grandchildren.

Met Police Commissioner Cressida Dick and senior investigators met with his family at New Scotland Yard today, Thursday, 22 June.

In a statement, Mr Ali’s family described him as a peace-loving and gentle person who had no enemies. They were due to fly to Canada for a family holiday.

The family said: “We are devastated by the loss of a husband, father, brother and grandfather, Makram Ali, in this tragic event.

“Our father was a quiet gentle man, he didn’t get involved in political or social discussion, he instead took comfort and enjoyment spending time with his wife, children and grandchildren and he was always ready to make a funny joke when you least expected.”

They added: “We wish everyone to know what a loving man he was, he spent his whole life without any enemies, choosing a quiet life instead. We as a family have always believed that the actions of one person cannot be a reflection of a whole people and I have no doubt that our father would not wish for there to be any retaliation or recriminations and would urge people to remain calm and to pray for peace in these difficult times.”

Detectives from the Met’s Counter Terrorism Command are continuing to appeal for witnesses to the attack or anyone with information that may assist the investigation to contact them.

Police were called at 00:21hrs on 19 June to Seven Sisters Road, Finsbury Park, to reports of a van colliding with pedestrians. A number of people were injured.

Mr Ali was receiving first aid at the scene as the attack unfolded and was pronounced dead at the scene at 01:04hrs.

Detectives have today released a photo of the van used in the attack - registration plate number PO64 CSF - and are urging anyone who spoke to the driver of this vehicle during the day leading up the incident to call police in confidence on 0800 789 321.

It is believed that the van was driven from the Cardiff area of Wales at about 08.20hrs on Sunday, 18 June to London on Monday, 19 June.

Deputy Assistant Commissioner Neil Basu said: “Following the attack, specialist counter terrorism officers have spoken to 28 witnesses who were at the scene. We are very grateful to everyone who has provided information so far – their accounts are assisting the investigation hugely - but we need more people to come forward and tell us what they saw and what they know about the driver of this van. If you think you may have spoken to the driver please get in touch.”

Detectives have trawled through around 80 hours of CCTV so far. They have visited 140 locations and recovered 33 digital devices from a number of addresses in Wales.

Anyone with information that may assist the investigation is urged to either call police in confidence on 0800 789 321 or contact police online via a secure form at www.gov.uk/act

Anyone with images or footage relating to the incident is urged to upload them via the secure website www.ukpoliceimageappeal.co.uk

A 47-year-old man arrested in connection with the incident remains in custody. On Tuesday, 20 June detectives obtained a warrant for further detention until 00:54 on Saturday, 24 June.

Of the victims who were injured during the attack, four remain in hospital – two receiving critical care.

+ Full statement from Mr Ali’s family:

"We are devastated by the loss of a husband, father, brother and grandfather, Makram Ali, in this tragic event.

"Our father was a quiet gentle man, he didn’t get involved in political or social discussion, he instead took comfort and enjoyment spending time with his wife, children and grandchildren and he was always ready to make a funny joke when you least expected.

"We are distressed about what happened. We know that he had some form of collapse because of his weak leg, a condition he suffers from, before recovering, sitting up and expressing a wish to return home only to then become a victim of this horrific incident. An incident made only more tragic as he had only just completed his evening prayers, something he did regularly. He took great comfort in the feelings of peace his prayers provided.

"We wish everyone to know what a loving man he was, he spent his whole life without any enemies, choosing a quiet life instead. We as a family have always believed that the actions of one person cannot be a reflection of a whole people and I have no doubt that our father would not wish for there to be any retaliation or recriminations and would urge people to remain calm and to pray for peace in these difficult times.

"At present we are getting a clearer picture of what exactly happened to our father and we are getting regular updates from the police who have been extremely helpful so far. We wish to thank them and the emergency services for their work and we’d especially like to thank those people who helped our father in his last moments and also thank all the people who have left messages of condolence and flowers at the mosque.

"Until we know more we would ask everyone to respect our privacy so that we may grieve in peace and come to terms with the immense loss in our lives."


Latest 18:20hrs on Tuesday, 20 June

Warrant for further detention obtained

Detectives from the Met's Counter Terrorism Command have today, Tuesday, 20 June, obtained a warrant for further detention for the 47-year-old man arrested in connection with the terrorist incident in Finsbury Park.

The man, arrested on suspicion of the commission, preparation and instigation of terrorism; attempted murder and murder, remains in custody at a south London police station.

The warrant for further detention has been authorised until 00.54hrs on Saturday, 24 June.

A number of people were injured during the attack in which a van collided with pedestrians on Seven Sisters Road in the early hours of Monday, 19 June. One man was pronounced dead at the scene at 01:04hrs.

Inquiries are continuing to establish whether there is any link between his death and the attack.

Two victims were treated by medics at the scene; nine were taken to hospital by London Ambulance Service. Four patients remain in hospital, with two receiving critical care.

Family liaison officers have been deployed to the injured and their next of kin.

Detectives are continuing to appeal for anyone who witnessed the attack or who has any information that may assist the investigation to call police in confidence on 0800 789 321 or fill in the secure form act.campaign.gov.uk. In an emergency always dial 999.

Anyone with images or footage from the incident is urged to upload them at the secure site ukpoliceimageappeal.co.uk

We continue to review security across London, with a focus on all places of worship including mosques and Muslim community centres.

Communities can expect to see more uniformed police officers at many of these places as reassurance, as they have seen in other crowded places.

We are conscious there are a number of events planned across London and the rest of the UK and we continue to ensure that security plans are robust by working in partnership with all event organisers.

Local and senior police officers regularly meet with faith leaders and will continue to do so following this attack to hear local concerns and provide reassurance to communities.

Chief Superintendent Dave Stringer, head of community engagement, said: "Faith leaders from across London met yesterday at Finsbury Park Mosque and at New Scotland Yard this morning following the terrorist attack in Finsbury Park on Monday.

"Local and senior police officers regularly meet with faith and community leaders and will continue to do so following this attack to hear local concerns and provide reassurance to communities.

"We understand this latest attack will make people feel fearful and worried. We are working hard to protect all communities and the public will see additional officers patrolling across the city and at places of worship."

Any victims of hate crime are urged to report what has happened to them to the police. Hate crime can be reported through 999 in an emergency, by dialling 101 in a non-emergency, directly at a police station, through the MOPAC Hate Crime app or through community reporting methods such as Tell Mama, Galop or the CST.


Latest 16:30hrs on Monday, 19 June

Man now being held for terrorism offences

Detectives from the Met's Counter Terrorism Command are appealing for witnesses following a terror attack where a van collided with pedestrians in Seven Sisters Road, injuring eight people.

Police were called at 00:21hrs to Seven Sisters Road, Finsbury Park, to reports of a van colliding with pedestrians. Officers, who were in the immediate vicinity, responded instantly.

The attack unfolded whilst a man was receiving first aid from the public after being taken ill in Seven Sisters Road. Sadly he was pronounced dead at the scene at 01:04hrs. Inquiries are continuing to establish whether there is any link between his death and the attack.

The man suspected of driving the van was detained by members of the public at the scene.

Additional officers were deployed, including armed officers, and were at the scene within ten minutes.

Police declared it was being treated as a terrorist incident shortly afterwards at 00:29hrs.

London Ambulance Service also attended and nine people were taken by ambulance to three London hospitals. Two others were treated for minor injuries at the scene.

A 47-year-old man was arrested for attempted murder and taken to a south London police station where he remains in custody. He has further been arrested for the commission, preparation or instigation of terrorism including murder and attempted murder.

At this stage in the investigation, it is believed that the suspect acted alone but we are of course investigating all the circumstances leading up to the attack. There were no reports of any people having suffered knife injuries.

Searches are being carried out at a residential address in the Cardiff area.

Seven Sisters Road was extremely busy at the time of the attack and we are appealing for anyone who witnessed the attack to come forward.

Deputy Assistant Commissioner Neil Basu said: "Our thoughts are with all those affected by the incident at Seven Sisters Road and their families, friends and communities.

"This is being treated as a terrorist incident and is being investigated by the Counter Terrorism Command. The investigation is ongoing and we are working fast to know the full details of how and why this took place.

"All the victims were from the Muslim community and we will be deploying extra police patrols to reassure the public, especially those observing Ramadan.

"We are working hard to protect all communities and the public will see additional officers patrolling across the city and at Muslim places of worship. This was an attack on London and all Londoners. We should all stand together against extremists whatever their cause."

We continue to review security across London, with a focus on all places of worship including mosques and Muslim community centres.

Communities can expect to see more uniformed police officers at many of these places as reassurance, as they have seen in other crowded places.

Local and senior police officers regularly meet with faith leaders and will continue to do so following this attack to hear local concerns and provide reassurance to communities.

We are conscious there are a number of events planned across London and the rest of the UK and we continue to ensure that security plans are robust by working in partnership with all event organisers.

Anyone who witnessed the attack or who has any information that will assist the investigation is asked to contact police in confidence on 0800 789321. In an emergency always dial 999.

Anyone with images or footage from the incident is urged to upload it at the secure site ukpoliceimageappeal.co.uk

Latest 15:30hrs on Monday, 19 June

Statement from Metropolitan Police Commissioner Cressida Dick from the scene of the incident at Finsbury Park:

"We are here as you are well aware because of the terrible, terrible attack that took place last night. We have a number of people in hospital whose lives are turned upside down. We have one person who has died and as you are aware a man has been arrested.

"This was quite clearly an attack on Muslims who looked like they were probably Muslims and they were coming from a prayer meeting. We treat this as a terrorist attack and we in the Met are as shocked as anybody in this local community or across the country at what has happened.

"We take all forms of hate crime and violent extremism incredibly seriously and wherever we possibly can we will seek to prevent attacks and if we cannot prevent an attack then we will seek obviously to bring people to justice.

"This is a highly-integrated, truly diverse and multi-cultural place. The relationships between the police and communities here are very important to us and are mostly very good indeed.

"I have just come from a meeting of people of 20 faiths, all from the local communities, who are saying as I say, the people who perpetrate attacks like this think they will break our society down and cause division between us and they won’t do this; and they won’t win. This is a very resilient city and this is a very, very resilient set of communities.

"I will finish by offering my deepest condolences to the family of the man who has died and I am sure all our thoughts are with everybody who has been so horribly affected by this.

"My police officers responded last night within a minute and we had a large presence here within 10 minutes. You’ll be aware that we have also responded to other attacks over the last few weeks and we are also of course still all of us working very hard in relation to the recovery from the horrible events at Grenfell Tower and the investigations that flow from that.

"This is, as Her Majesty said, a sombre time and last night has added to that sombreness but I can say in relation to the Met, it does nothing other than strengthen our resolve to get out there, prevent attacks and protect our communities, and the people in the Muslim communities attending prayers will see their police protecting them in the coming days and nights."

Latest 08:30hrs on Monday, 19 June

Commissioner, Cressida Dick, said:

“London has woken up to the news of another appalling attack on our city.

“My thoughts are with the family of the man who has died and with all those who were injured.

“My officers were on the scene almost immediately, and other uniformed and specialist officers quickly arrived to support them. They worked quickly with colleagues from the other emergency services to treat the injured.

“I want to thank all those members of the public who assisted police and emergency services in our task.

“There is now an ongoing investigation by our Counter Terrorism Command to establish why this attack was carried out.

“London is a city of many faiths and many nationalities. An attack on one community is an attack on all of us.

“Terrorists will not succeed in their attempts to divide us and make us live in fear.”

“Extra officers are on duty in the area to help reassure the local community. They will be there for as long as they are needed.

“Communities will see additional officers patrolling across the city and at Muslim places of worship. We are working as hard as we can to protect all our communities, and we will not be defeated.”

Latest at 08:27hrs on Monday, 19 June

Speaking to media this morning Deputy Assistant Commissioner Neil Basu, the Senior National Coordinator for Counter Terrorism, said:

“Sadly Londoners are waking to the news of another dreadful incident in the Capital that has left a number of people seriously injured.

The attack unfolded whilst a man was receiving first aid from the public at the scene, sadly, he has died.Any causative link between his death and the attack will form part of our investigation.It is too early to state if his death was as a result of the attack.

“Our thoughts are with all those affected by the incident at Seven Sisters Road and their family, friends and their communities.

“No matter what the motivation proves to be, and we are keeping an open mind, this is being treated as a terrorist attack and the Counter Terrorism Command is investigating.

“This was an attack on London and all Londoners and we should all stand together against extremists whatever their cause.

“From 00:21hrs this morning police received a number calls to Seven Sisters Road following a van having collided with pedestrians.

"Officers were in the immediate vicinity as the attack unfolded and responded instantly. Additional officers arrived within 10 minutes.

“One man was pronounced dead at the scene. Eight others are in hospital and two more were treated at the scene.

“All the victims were from the Muslim community.

“I would like to praise police officers who immediately gave life saving treatment at the scene, but also members of the public who assisted before and after the incident.

“Also at the scene, detained by members of the public, was the man suspected of being the driver.

“He was arrested by police on suspicion of attempted murder.

“I would like to thank those people who helped police in detaining the man and worked with officers to calmly and quickly get him into our custody.

“Their restraint in the circumstances was commendable.

“This investigation is ongoing, and we are working fast to know the full details of how and why it took place.

“At this early stage of the investigation, no other suspects have been identified or reported to police, and there were no reports of any people having suffered any knife injuries.

“The van used was examined by specialist officers but nothing that would cause a risk to the public was found in it.

“Extra policing resources have been deployed across London in order to reassure communities, especially those observing Ramadan.”

“I would urge everyone to remain calm and vigilant.

“I would ask the public with any information about this incident, or anything that causes them concern or suspicion, to call the police on 0800 789 321.

“Obviously we are at an early stage in our investigation, however as and when I can make more information available, I will.

“This has been incredibly challenging time for London and emergency services are stretched.

“Nevertheless, we will do absolutely all we can - with our partners - to protect Londoners and our city

“Now is a time once again for London to stand together to face those who seek to divide us.”

Latest at 04:46hrs on 19 June

The investigation into the circumstances of the incident in Seven Sisters Road in Finsbury Park is ongoing.

Police were called just after 0020hrs 19 June to reports of a van in collision with pedestrians.

Officers attended alongside other emergency services and found and tended to a number of casualties.

One man was pronounced dead at the scene. Officers are in the process of informing next of kin. A post mortem examination will be scheduled due course.

Eight people injured were taken to three separate hospitals; two people were treated at the scene for minor injuries.

At this stage there are no reports of any persons having suffered any knife injuries.

The driver of the van - a man aged 48 - was found detained by members of public at the scene and then arrested by police in connection with the incident.

He has been taken to hospital as a precaution, and will be taken into custody once discharged.

A number police units are at, and managing the cordons around, the crime scene, including local officers and those from neighbouring boroughs - supported by armed officers and the Territorial Support Group.

The investigation of the incident is being carried out by the Counter Terrorism Command.

At this early stage of this investigation, no other suspects at the scene have been identified or reported to police, however the investigation continues.

Due to the nature of this incident extra policing resources have been deployed in order to reassure communities, especially those observing Ramadan.

Any witnesses, or anyone with any information, can contact police via 101, or via Twitter @MetCC.

To give information anonymously call Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 or visit crimestoppers-uk.org.

When more information has been confirmed as accurate, it will be released as appropriate in due course.

Latest at 01:03hrs on 19 June

Police were called just after 0020hrs 18 June to reports of a vehicle in collision with pedestrians.

Officers are on scene with other emergency services.

There are a number of casualties being worked on at the scene.

There has been one person arrested.

Enquiries continue. 

More information will be released when confirmed.