Thursday 22 February 2018

Man arrested over Finsbury Park mosque attack named as father-of-four

Police officers attend to the scene after a vehicle collided with pedestrians near a mosque in the Finsbury Park neighborhood of North London, Britain June 19, 2017. REUTERS/Neil Hall
Police officers attend to the scene after a vehicle collided with pedestrians near a mosque in the Finsbury Park neighborhood of North London, Britain June 19, 2017. REUTERS/Neil Hall
Police officers attend to the scene after a vehicle collided with pedestrians near a mosque in the Finsbury Park neighborhood of North London, Britain June 19, 2017. REUTERS/Neil Hall
Men pray after a vehicle collided with pedestrians near a mosque in the Finsbury Park neighborhood of North London, Britain June 19, 2017. REUTERS/Neil Hall
Men pray after a vehicle collided with pedestrians near a mosque in the Finsbury Park neighborhood of North London, Britain June 19, 2017. REUTERS/Neil Hall
A man prays after a vehicle collided with pedestrians near a mosque in the Finsbury Park neighborhood of North London, Britain June 19, 2017. REUTERS/Neil Hall
A man prays after a vehicle collided with pedestrians near a mosque in the Finsbury Park neighborhood of North London, Britain June 19, 2017. REUTERS/Neil Hall TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
Independent.ie Newsdesk

Independent.ie Newsdesk

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

The attacker has been named locally as father-of-four Darren Osborne, from Weston-Super-Mare in Somerset, according to The Telegraph.

Friends said Osborne had grown up in North Somerset but currently lived in Cardiff with his partner and children.

One man died after pedestrians were targeted by a man driving a van near Finsbury Park Mosque in north London early on Monday.

Witnesses described hearing the man, who was detained by members of the public at the scene, shout: "I'm going to kill Muslims."

Police confirmed searches are being carried out at a residential address in the Cardiff area in connection with the attack.

Deputy Assistant 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."

The 47-year-old suspect was arrested for attempted murder at the scene and taken to a south London police station where he remains in custody.

The attacker, who is believed to have acted alone, struck as the area was busy with worshippers attending Ramadan night prayers at the mosque.

Eight people were taken to hospital, with one since discharged, while two others were treated at the scene.

All of the casualties were Muslims.

Police said it was too early to say if the man who died did so directly because of the attack, as he was already receiving first aid from the public at the scene when it happened.

Earlier, Metropolitan Police Commissioner Cressida Dick said the incident was "quite clearly an attack on Muslims".

"We treat this as a terrorist attack," she said.

"Sadly we have suffered a number of attacks and very sad events over the last few weeks," she added.

Security Minister Ben Wallace confirmed the man was not known to the security services.

He told BBC Radio 4's World At One: "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."

Prime Minister Theresa May condemned the incident as "every bit as sickening" as the recent atrocities in London and Manchester.

Witnesses said the suspect was smiling and waving as he brought carnage to Seven Sisters Road, with video posted online showing him give a nonchalant wave as police put him in the back of their vehicle.

Imam Mohammed Mahmoud was hailed for his efforts to calm the chaotic situation before police arrived and was said to have used his body to shield the suspected terrorist from the fury of onlookers.

Mr Basu also thanked members of the public who detained the suspect, saying ''their restraint in the circumstances was commendable''.

He added: ''Given the methodology and given what was occurring, what's happened, the tragic incidents across the country, this had all the hallmarks of a terrorist incident.

''That is why the counter-terrorism command were called out to investigate.''

Officers were in the immediate vicinity as the attack unfolded and responded within one minute.

Police declared it a terrorist incident within eight minutes.

After chairing a meeting of the Government's Cobra emergencies committee earlier, Mrs May said the attack was ''every bit as insidious and destructive to our values and our way of life'' as the recent string of terror attacks apparently motivated by Islamist extremism.

''We will stop at nothing to defeat it,'' she added.

Images of the van showed it was rented from Pontyclun Van Hire in Pontyclun, near Cardiff.

Flowers have been laid near the scene, with one card reading: ''This is an attack on all Londoners - and on my community.''

Another read: ''I was so sorry to hear the news this morning. #NotInMyName''.

Press Association

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