Man arrested in Finsbury Park attack ‘rented van in Wales’
Witnesses say they heard Darren Osborne (47) shout ‘I’m going to kill all Muslims’
The man arrested in connection with the terror incident near Finsbury Park Mosque has been named as Darren Osborne (47), a father of four who had been living in Cardiff. He was arrested at the scene after a van drove into a group of Muslims shortly after midnight as they left the Muslim Welfare House after prayers.
One man, who had collapsed before the attack, died after the van, which was allegedly hired by Osborne in Wales, mounted the pavement and drove at speed into the crowd. Eight people were taken to hospital with injuries from the attack and two others were treated at the scene. The suspect was arrested on suspicion of attempted murder and later further arrested over “the commission, preparation or instigation of terrorism including murder and attempted murder”.
Eyewitnesses said that during the attack, they heard a man shout “I’m going to kill all Muslims” and police declared the incident a terrorist attack within minutes of arriving on the scene. It was the third terrorist attack in Britain within a month, following the suicide bombing at Manchester Arena on May 22nd and the attack at London Bridge on June 3rd.
Theresa May visited the scene on Monday and met members of the Muslim community, promising to crack down on extremism of all kinds. Following a meeting of the government’s emergency committee Cobra, the prime minister said extra police had been deployed to reassure communities and security at mosques would be reviewed.
“This was an attack on Muslims near their place of worship. And like all terrorism, in whatever form, it shares the same fundamental goal. It seeks to drive us apart; and to break the precious bonds of solidarity and citizenship that we share in this country. We will not let this happen,” she said.
The attack took place within the constituency of Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn and he was on the scene by 4am. Returning to the scene later, he praised the police response but said many Muslims were living in fear of another attack.
“I’ve met both last night and this morning people who were just frightened, were just frightened that something like this could happen again. We obviously need efficient and effective policing we obviously need an attitude in our society of support for each other. The only way to deal with kind of issue is communities coming together,” he said.
‘Protect each other’s faith’
“An attack on a mosque, an attack on a synagogue, an attack on a church, is actually an attack on all of us. We have to protect each other’s faith, each other’s way of life. That’s what makes us a strong society and community.”
Witnesses praised the role of Mohammed Mahmoud, an imam at the Muslim Welfare House, in response to the attack, when he urged the crowd not to hurt the alleged attacker but to restrain him until police arrived.
“We arrived at the scene within minutes and we found the assailant on the floor. He had been restrained by around three people. We found a group of people quickly started to collect around the assailant. And some tried to hit him, either kicks or punches. By God’s grace we manage to surround him and to protect him from any harm. We stopped all forms of attack and abuse towards him that were coming from every angle,” he said later.
“We pushed the people back. He didn’t say a word. It wasn’t me alone. There was a group of brothers. He seemed calmed. I just heard he said ‘I did my bit’. It is a tragic and barbaric terrorist attack.”