Armed Patrols Increased In Scotland After London Attack

19 June 2017, 13:56 | Updated: 19 June 2017, 13:59

Armed officers

Police are increasing armed patrols in Scotland in response to the latest terrorist attack in London.

Mosques and other places of worship will be among the locations where there will be an increased police presence, it is understood.

One man died after a van driver, described as a large white man, targeted pedestrians near the Finsbury Park Mosque in north London early on Monday.

Witnesses described hearing the man, who was detained by members of the public at the scene, shout: ''I'm going to kill Muslims.''

Responding to the incident, Assistant Chief Constable Nelson Telfer said: ''There is no specific threat to Scotland, however Police Scotland is increasing armed patrols in response to the attack in London.

''We continue to engage with all communities providing reassurance and appropriate support.''

Scotland's First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has said her thoughts are with all those affected by the ''dreadful'' incident in London.

She tweeted: ''Let us stand as firmly against terrorists who attack Muslims as we do against those claiming to act in name of Islam.''

Speaking on Monday, she said: ''Like everybody else, I am appalled, horrified and heartbroken at news of another apparent terrorist attack in the heart of London.

''This was a senseless and horrific attack on Muslims leaving prayers in a mosque and our attitude and response to that should just be as serious and as steadfast as our response to those who carry out such attacks supposedly in the name of Islam.

''Whether extremists and terrorists, who are a tiny minority in our society, are attacking Muslims or attacking in the name of Muslims, all of us must be absolutely resolute that our wonderful, diverse, multi-cultural society will not be divided, because that's what the terrorists seek to do and we must be absolutely resolute in our determination not to allow them to succeed.''

Religious and community leaders in Scotland have condemned the attack on worshippers.

In a Facebook posting, the Muslim Council of Scotland said: ''The Muslim Council of Scotland condemns in the strongest possible terms the callous terrorist attack on worshippers last night in London.

''This attack was aimed directly at the vibrant Muslim community during the Month of Ramadan at a time when many families would have been returning home after night-time prayers.

''Our thoughts and prayers are with the victims, the injured and anyone affected by this tragedy.

''Our heart goes out to the people of London who have been through so much in the last few months and are still waiting for news on many friends and family in the Grenfell Tower tragedy.''

Church of Scotland Moderator the Rt Rev Dr Derek Browning, who is currently in London, said: ''All acts of brutality and terrorism are to be condemned. Such actions targeting people leaving a place of worship after prayers are particularly disturbing.

''At times like this, all people of faith and goodwill join together peaceably, compassionately and prayerfully with those caught up in the events of Finsbury Park.

''We remember also all victims of terrorism here and across the world.''

Police are urging anyone who sees or hears something that could be terrorist-related to call officers on 101 or, in emergency 999, or in confidence on 0800 789321.