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The Latest: US 'strongly condemns' attack near London mosque

The Associated Press

LONDON (AP) — The Latest on a van plowing into a crowd outside a London mosque (all times local):

8:30 p.m.

The United States says it "strongly condemns" an attack near a mosque in London and that the attack appears to have targeted Muslim worshippers.

State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert says the U.S. stands with the U.K. and is ready to provide any help that British officials would find helpful. She's calling the incident a "terrorist attack."

A large white van driven by a man identified as 47-year-old Darren Osborne apparently swerved into a group of Muslims who were leaving evening prayers early Monday. At least nine people were injured.

Nauert says the U.S. is extending sympathy to the families and communities of the victims and hopes the wounded recover quickly.

She says the U.S. commends the first responders and the bystanders for their courage in apprehending the attacker until police arrived.

The State Department says the U.S. and the U.K. remain committed to fighting "the plague of terrorism."

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7:10 p.m.

The White House says President Donald Trump is receiving updates on the incident in north London in which a car plowed into a crowd of pedestrians near a mosque.

White House press secretary Sean Spicer says the administration's thoughts and prayers go out to the victims and their families.

Spicer says the U.S. has "made it very clear to our British allies that we stand ready to provide any support or assistance they need."

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6:45 p.m.

British media have named the suspect in Monday's mosque attack as 47-year-old Darren Osborne, a father of four who was living in Cardiff, Wales.

British Security Minister Ben Wallace said authorities were aware of rising far-right activity but were not aware of the suspect prior to the attack near a north London mosque.

The large white van driven by Osborne apparently swerved into a group of Muslims who were leaving evening prayers. At least nine people were injured. Police are treating the incident as a terror attack.

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4:50 p.m.

London police say a 47-year-old man has been arrested on suspicion of commission, preparation or instigation of terrorism including murder as well as attempted murder after a car plowed into a crowd of pedestrians near a north London mosque.

The man, who is in custody at a south London police station, was arrested earlier on suspicion of attempted murder.

The Metropolitan Police said in a statement that the man was detained by members of the public at the scene of the attack early Monday.

Authorities say a residential area in Cardiff, Wales, is also being searched.

Deputy Assistant Commissioner Neil Basu says: "This is being treated as a terrorist incident and is being investigated by the Counter Terrorism Command."

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4:10 p.m.

The World Jewish Congress is condemning the attack on a crowd outside a London mosque, saying all people must "stand together to defend the critical values of tolerance and freedom that make our society strong."

WJC President Ronald Lauder said in a statement Monday that the organization stands together with the people of London "in confronting another horrible act of terror."

He says "I condemn the abhorrent and vicious attack carried out against innocent people gathered to worship during the holy month of Ramadan."

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3:40 p.m.

Community leaders are praising a local imam for restraining a mob that had surrounded the man accused of driving a van into a crowd of worshippers near Finsbury Park Mosque in London.

Imam Mohammed Mahmoud told reporters Monday that he and "other brothers" were able to prevent onlookers from beating up the suspect and held him until police arrived. The 48-year-old suspect had been surrounded by an angry crowd that is believed to have pulled him from the van used in the attack.

Mahmoud says "By God's grace, we were able to protect him from harm."

The ambulance service says nine people injured in the attack were taken to local hospitals. One man died at the scene, but it was not immediately clear whether he was killed by the attacker's actions or some other cause.

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2:15 p.m.

London's police commander says the van attack near Finsbury Park Mosque was clearly an attack on Muslims.

Commander Cressida Dick, speaking Monday in the London neighborhood of Finsbury Park, says people in Muslim communities will see more of their police protecting them in the coming days.

London Mayor Sadiq Khan, meanwhile, paid tribute to the local community who apprehended the attacker near the mosque, especially the religious leader who kept him safe from mob violence.

Khan says all these incidents are attacks on the city's shared values. He vows "we will not allow these terrorists to succeed ... we will stay a strong city." Khan also declared that British officials have "zero tolerance" for hate crimes.

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1:55 p.m.

British Prime Minister Theresa May is visiting London's Finsbury Park Mosque, meeting with members of a community trying to come to terms with an attack in which a van barreled into a crowd of worshippers leaving Ramadan prayers.

May met with representatives from a variety of faiths only hours after the incident early Monday.

The visit has a political dimension. May has been widely criticized for her response to a massive fire in a high-rise apartment block last week that has killed at least 79 people.

May was accused of insensitivity and failing to exhibit leadership for a bungled response on the first day of the tower fire disaster. In particular, she visited the devastated fire site to meet with emergency responders but took days to meet with survivors, hundreds of which were made homeless by the blaze.

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1:35 p.m.

The German government is offering its condolences over an attack on worshippers outside a London mosque, which it says appears to have been an act of "blind hatred."

Chancellor Angela Merkel's spokesman, Steffen Seibert, said Monday that the government's sympathy goes to the victims and their relatives, the London mosque community and "all our friends in London and Britain who are barely able to find peace at the moment."

Seibert calls the attack "an act of blind hatred — and that would give it a place in the terrorist acts of recent weeks and months."

Ten people were injured in the early Monday attack on worshippers coming out of the Finsbury Park Mosque in London.

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12:55 p.m.

The chairman of the Finsbury Park Mosque and other faith leaders in London have held a moment of silence for victims of a driver who plowed into a crowd of worshippers leaving a Ramadan prayer service.

After the silence, Mohammed Kozbar read a brief statement declaring that an "an attack on one faith is an attack on all faiths."

Kozbar was surrounded by leaders of other faiths in the community and by Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn, who is the local member of Parliament for the area.

A 48-year-old white man has been arrested and charged with attempted murder and police say they're investigating it as a terror attack. Ten people have been injured. A man who was being given first aid at the time died at the scene, but it's not clear if he died as a direct result of the attack.

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12:45 p.m.

Prime Minister Theresa May has praised the bravery of members of the public who detained the driver of a van that plowed into a crowd of worshippers outside a London mosque.

Speaking outside her Downing Street office, a somber May says the driver of the van was a 48-year-old white man.

May says he was bravely detained by members of the public at the scene and then arrested by police.

The chief executive of the Muslim Welfare House tells Sky News a local imam intervened to keep the van driver from being attacked by the crowd outside the Finsbury Park Mosque.

Eight people were in the hospital and two more were treated at the site of the incident. One person died at the scene but it's not clear if he died from the attack or something else.

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12:30 p.m.

British security officials say hate crimes directed at Muslims have increased nearly five-fold in the wake of several attacks in Britain blamed on Islamic extremists.

An official said Monday that counterterrorism officials were closely monitoring terror activity linked to far-right groups but most of the recent attacks have been traced back to individuals rather than groups.

The person spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak about the ongoing investigation into an attack on worshippers outside a mosque in London. Ten people were injured when a 48-year-old white man plowed a van into a crowd of people leaving evening prayers. Police say they're treating it as a terrorist incident.

In the past three months, mosques across Britain have reported several attacks against worshippers and places of worship.

— By Paisley Dodds in London

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12:05 p.m.

Prime Minister Theresa May has responded to complaints from some in the Muslim community that police failed to quickly respond to the attack on the north London mosque and declare it terrorism.

Speaking outside her Downing Street office Monday, May said officers responded to the attack in one minute and declared it a terror attack within eight minutes.

May says hatred and evil of this kind will never succeed and she says the government will "stop at nothing" to defeat extremism.

Ten people have been injured in the attack on Muslim worshippers leaving the Finsbury Park mosque, with eight of them sent to hospitals. Police are investigating whether a man who died while being given first aid at the scene was killed by the attack or something else.

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12 p.m.

UK Prime Minister Theresa May has described an attack on a north London mosque attack as a "sickening" attempt to destroy liberties that unite Britain, such as freedom of worship.

May says the man who plowed a van into a crowd of people leaving evening prayers acted alone and that people outside the mosque apprehended him.

Ten people were injured and police are investigating whether a man who died while being given first aid at the scene died from the attack or something else.

May praised the resolve of the people of London in responding to the incident and said extra police resources have already been deployed to assure the public in a time of tension.

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11:40 a.m.

Muslim leaders in London are appealing for calm after a van was driven deliberately into a crowd of worshippers leaving evening prayers at a mosque. Ten people have been injured, with eight sent to hospitals. Police are investigating whether a man who died at the scene was killed by the attack or something else.

Toufik Kacimi, chief executive of the Muslim Welfare House, tells Sky News there is no "need to react with tension."

Kacimi says the attacker shouted at the crowd, but that the local imam intervened to save his life.

Kacimi says people grabbed the attacker outside the Finsbury Park Mosque and started hitting him. He says the imam "went there and saved him. He saved his life basically."

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11:35 a.m.

London police say they're investigating whether the death of a man outside a London mosque was the direct result of a van plowing into a crowd of Muslim worshippers.

Ten people were injured in the attack, which police are treating as a terrorist incident. Eight have been hospitalized. A 48-year-old man has been arrested on suspicion of attempted murder.

Police say in a statement that a worshipper was receiving first aid outside the mosque at the time of the attack. He died at the scene, but they say it's not clear if he died from the van attack or something else.

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8:30 a.m.

London police say one suspect has been detained in an apparent early-morning attack on worshippers standing outside a mosque.

Police say incident has all the "hallmarks" of a terrorist" incident.

Police said a suspect was quickly and calmly turned over to the police, and that no one else was found in the van.

One man died at the scene and 10 people were injured.

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7:50 a.m.

British Home Secretary Amber Rudd says police "immediately" treated a fatal incident outside a London mosque as a suspected terrorist attack.

One man outside the Finsbury Park mosque died at the scene, a van driver was arrested and eight people were taken to hospitals following the early morning incident.

Rudd, who is in charge for government law enforcement, said: "Londoners have been hit with a series of attacks and have been nothing short of heroic." she said Monday.

The chairman of the Finsbury Park Mosque, Mohammed Kozbar, has complained that the "mainstream media" was unwilling to call the attack a terrorist incident for many hours.

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7:20 a.m.

British Prime Minister Theresa May says she will chair an emergency meeting Monday morning following a van crash in which a man died at the scene. Eight injured people were taken to hospitals, and a suspect was arrested.

May said: "All my thoughts are with the victims, their families and the emergency services on the scene."

The chairman of the Finsbury Park Mosque, Mohammed Kozbar, says the incident was a "cowardly attack" on worshippers. He complained that the "mainstream media" was unwilling to call the attack a terrorist incident for many hours.

Police say no other suspects have been identified, but their investigation continues.

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

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6:50 a.m.

The chairman of the Finsbury Park Mosque says the van crash that hit worshippers was a "cowardly attack" and urged Muslims going to mosques to be vigilant.

Mohammed Kozbar said the attack early Monday morning was no different than the recent attacks on London Bridge and Manchester Arena and said the Muslim community is "in shock."

Kozbar complained that the "mainstream media" was unwilling to call the attack a terrorist incident for many hours.

Police said the driver was arrested and the crash was being investigated as suspected terrorism. One person was killed and 10 were hurt.

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6:30 a.m.

Video filmed in the immediate aftermath of a van striking worshippers near a London mosque showed a Caucasian man being detained by police.

Someone in the crowd yelled to others not to harm the man while he was taken into custody. The video of the crash early Monday morning was accessed by the AP. Police have said the driver was a 48-year-old man who was arrested and taken to a hospital as a precaution. They are investigating the crash as suspected terrorism.

Someone in the crowd is heard yelling, "No one touch him! No one! No one!"

The crash occurred near the Finsbury Park Mosque as worshippers were leaving after Ramadan prayers.

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5:45 a.m.

British Prime Minister Theresa May says she will chair an emergency session of the security Cabinet later Monday after a van crash in London that is being investigating as possible terrorism.

A van struck several worshippers leaving the Finsbury Park mosque early Monday morning after Ramadan prayers.

The driver was arrested and taken to a hospital as a precaution. May says police are treating the crash as a potential terrorist attack.

One person was killed and 10 were hurt.

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5:30 a.m.

A leader of the Muslim Council of Britain has called for extra security at mosques after a van struck worshippers leaving prayers at the Finsbury Park mosque.

Police have said they are investigating the crash as suspected terrorism and have arrested the driver, a 48-year-old man who was taken to a hospital as a precaution. One person was killed and 10 were hurt.

The group's general secretary, Harun Khan, said that eyewitnesses saw the van driver hit a number of Muslims.

"During the night, ordinary British citizens were set upon while they were going about their lives, completing their night worship. It appears from eyewitness accounts that the perpetrator was motivated by Islamophobia," he said.

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5:15 a.m.

Police say the driver of a van that hit pedestrians on a London road is a 48-year-old man who has been arrested and taken to a hospital.

The van struck a crowd of worshippers leaving a mosque early Monday morning, killing one person and injuring several others. Eight of the injured were taken to hospitals and the rest were treated at the scene.

Several hundred worshippers would have been in the area at the time after attending prayers as part of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.

Police said the Counter Terrorism Command was investigating the crash. Britain's terrorist alert has been set at "severe" meaning an attack is highly likely.

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