LONDON: The suspect in the north London mosque attack that killed one person has been identified as a resident of Cardiff, Wales, who had previously voiced his hatred for Muslims, the media reported.
According to witnesses, Darren Osborne, 47, shouted, “I want to kill all Muslims” as he drove a van in the early hours of Monday into a crowd of worshippers near the Finsbury Park Mosque on Seven Sisters Road, reports the Guardian.
One person died and 11 were injured; Osborne survived the attack and was arrested on suspicion of commission, preparation or instigation of terrorism including murder and attempted murder.
Camera phone footage showed him being captured by worshippers, who attacked him as he screamed, “Kill me”.
When he was eventually arrested and loaded into the back of a police van in handcuffs, he waved to the gathered crowd.
Osborne had been held down by a group of people after the crash. He grew up in Somerset and has four children. Police said the incident was “clearly an attack on Muslims”.
Osborne’s neighbours in Pentwyn said that over the weekend, he had called a 12-year-old Muslim an “inbred” and was thrown out of a local pub for getting drunk, “cursing Muslims and saying he would do some damage”.
Neighbours in the Cardiff suburb where he had lived for several years described him as “aggressive” and “strange”.
They told the Guardian that it was unclear what he did for work. Some said he was jobless, but bought and sold cars.
Osborne’s mother, sister and nephew said in a statement: “We are massively in shock, it’s unbelievable. It still hasn’t really sunk in,” reports the BBC.
According to the Metropolitan Police, there was no immediate evidence that Osborne was an active member of a far right organisation.
However, the incident is being treated as a terror attack and he was detained on suspicion of attempted murder, murder and terrorism offences.
Security Minister Ben Wallace said the suspect was not known to the security services, and was believed to have acted alone.
On Monday night, hundreds including religious leaders took part in a vigil.
After a short silence, chairman of the mosque Mohammed Kozbar told those gathered that the attack was “on our families, on our freedom, on our dignity”, the BBC reported.
It is the fourth terror attack in the UK in three months, after incidents in Westminster, Manchester and on London Bridge.
Prime Minister Theresa May on Monday called the incident a “terror attack” and “every bit as sickening” as recent attacks to hit the UK, adding that the driver acted alone
“Hatred and evil of this kind will never succeed,” she said.