Finsbury Park attack suspect named as Cardiff man (47)

One dead and 10 injured after a van ploughs into worshippers near London mosque

Eyewitness video shows a man being arrested by police after mulitple people were hit by a van in London. The vehicle ploughed into worshippers leaving a Finsbury Park mosque, leaving one person dead and several injured. Video: Reuters

 

A man arrested over the Finsbury Park terror attack has been further arrested on suspicion of the commission, preparation or instigation of terrorism including murder and attempted murder, Scotland Yard has said.

The suspect has been named as Darren Osborne, a 47-year old living in Cardiff.

One man died and 11 people were injured, two seriously, after a van ploughed into worshippers leaving the Muslim Welfare House in the Finsbury Park mosque shortly after midnight.

The attack occurred while the man who died was receiving first aid after being taken ill. It is not clear whether there is any link between his death and the attack.

Witnesses described hearing the driver, who was detained by members of the public at the scene, shout: “I’m going to kill Muslims.”

Osborne is described as a married father-of-four, whose extended family are based in Weston-super-Mare, a seaside town in Somerset.

Police were on Monday searching an address in a cul-de-sac in the Llanedeyrn area, close to Cardiff golf club in the northeast of the city suburbs.

Osborne was not known to the security services, according to Ben Wallace, the security minister.

“What I can say on this case is this individual, so far as we know at the moment, was not known to us, but we are aware of a rise in the far-right,” said Mr Wallace.

Osborne’s sister said she was “sorry for what’s happened”.

In a statement on behalf of the family, Osborne’s nephew Ellis Osborne said: “We are massively shocked; it’s unbelievable, it still hasn’t really sunk in.

“We are devastated for the families, our hearts go out to the people who have been injured.”

Mr Osborne added his uncle was “not a racist” and said he had never expressed any racist views. “It’s madness. It is obviously sheer madness.”

Neighbours told of their shock after seeing pictures of him being arrested by police.

Dave Ashford (52) said: “Someone called me and said it was him and I said, ‘It can’t be.’ Then I saw the picture on the news and said, ‘It’s him.’”

Pauline Tibbs (48) said: “The police have been back and forward here all day. It’s a terrible shock. I’ve seen him walking in the street but never spoken to him. He seemed normal enough.”

Deputy assistant police 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.”

May condemnation

Earlier on Monday, British prime minister Theresa May said hatred and evil would never succeed.

“This morning, our country woke to news of another terrorist attack on the streets of our capital city: the second this month and every bit as sickening as those which have come before,” Ms May said, outside her Downing Street office.

She said extra police resources would be deployed to provide reassurance and that Britain had been far too tolerant of all forms of extremism in the past.

Ms May later visited the scene of the incident in north London, where she faced heckles.

Police had arrested Osborne after the incident and Scotland Yard said there were no other suspects.

Eyewitness Abdul Rahman told the BBC he struck the attacker and helped subdue him.

“When the guy came out from his van he wanted to escape, run away and he was saying, ‘I want to kill Muslims. I want to kill Muslims.’ I hit him on his stomach ... and then me and the other guys ... we held him to the ground until he couldn’t move. We stopped him until the police came.”

Witnesses said that an imam from the mosque protected the driver of the van from angry members of the public until the police arrived.

London mayor Sadiq Khan said the attack was deliberate and targeted innocent Londoners, many of whom were finishing Ramadan prayers.

“While this appears to be an attack on a particular community, like the terrible attacks in Manchester, Westminster and London Bridge it is also an assault on all our shared values of tolerance, freedom and respect,” he said.

Police initially released a brief statement on the incident. Nearly four hours later, they added more information: “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 postmortem examination will be scheduled in due course.

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

“[The driver] has been taken to hospital as a precaution, and will be taken into custody once discharged. He will also be subject of a mental health assessment in due course.”

‘Terror attack’

The Muslim Council of Britain (MCB) intially said worshippers were among the injured. A tweet from the MCB said: “We have been informed that a van has run over worshippers as they left #finsburyparkmosque.”

The council later released a statement saying that it was aware that people were describing the incident as a “terror attack”.

Harun Khan, the secretary general of the MCB, said: “During the night, ordinary British citizens were set upon while they were going about their lives, completing their night worship. My prayers are with the victims and their families.”

Images and video posted to Twitter showed police vehicles blocking the street and a cordon in place.

More than a dozen emergency vehicles could be seen near the UKCG Help Centre at the junction of Seven Sisters Road and the A503 Tollington Road.

One resident told the Press Association he jumped out of the way as the van struck pedestrians.

The man, who did not want to be named, said: “The gentleman went straight down this road, people were just conversing, talking, just doing what we’re doing.

“And he just came into all of us. There was a lot of people. We got told to move straight away. I was shocked, shocked, shocked. There were bodies around me. Thank God I just moved to the side, I just jumped. Everyone is hurt. Everyone is actually hurt.”

Additional reporting: agencies