A Syria-born Muslim cleric has been shot dead in London.

Police say a man in his late 40s was found in a car in the Wembley area Tuesday with gunshot wounds to his chest. Paramedics pronounced him dead at the scene.

Police did not identify the man, but family and his former mosque named him as Abdul Hadi Arwani, former imam at the An-noor mosque in west London.

A statement posted at the building Wednesday read: "We have with great sadness heard of the unfortunate death of Shaykh Abdulhadi Arwani ... He will be sadly missed."

His daughter, Elham Arwani, told the Evening Standard newspaper that Arwani had been critical of Syria's President Bashar Assad, but the family did not believe that was the motive for his killing.