North London Central Mosque in Finsbury Park, London was built in the 1990s to serve the large Muslim population in the area. It has a capacity of 1,800 people.Until 2005 it was known as Finsbury Park Mosque. The mosque was riven with leadership disputes in the 1990s, allowing extremist Islamist preachers (many of whom were refugees from the Algerian Civil War) to take it over. In 1996 they installed Abu Hamza al-Masri as imam of the mosque, which subsequently developed a reputation as a centre of radical Islamism in London.
The main building was opened in 1994 in a ceremony attended by Prince Charles. The Mosque is located opposite Finsbury Park Station, close to Arsenal Football Club's Emirates Stadium.Al Qaeda operatives including "shoebomber" Richard Reid and Zacarias Moussaoui attended the Mosque. In 2002, The Guardian reported that weapons training had taken place inside the building.