London terror suspect named as father-of-four from Cardiff

Published: 20 June 2017

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A father-of-four has been identified as the suspect behind the latest London terror attack.

Darren Osborne, 47, was arrested after ploughing a van into a group of Muslims outside a mosque in London’s north shortly after midnight yesterday (local time).

It is understood he rammed into a crowd of worshippers who were helping a man who’d collapsed. That man later died but it is not yet clear if that was due to the terror attack.

Mr Osborne is now being held on terror charges and suspicion of attempted murder.

His family is believed to be in total shock.

“It’s unbelievable. It still hasn’t really sunk in,” a statement from Mr Osborne’s family read. “(Our) hearts go out to those who’ve been injured.”

Authorities say Mr Osborne, from Somerset and owner of a property in Cardiff, appeared to act alone and was not previously known to security services.

It is understood he had been living in Weston-super-Mare with his partner and children and had done the school drop-off on the same day of the attack, according to some reports.

At least 11 people were injured in the attack which took place on Seven Sisters Road in Finsbury Park. Nine of those individuals were taken to hospital while the other two were treated at the scene.

All of the wounded were Muslim worshippers who had just attended Ramadan night prayers.

Speaking to local media, Ms Osborne’s neighbour Saleem Naema, 50, expressed his shock.

"I can't believe it," Mr Naema, a taxi driver, said. "I know him. I've lived here for five years. He was already living here when I moved in.

"If I ever needed anything he would come. I am a Muslim."

Deputy Assistant Commissioner Neil Basu also released a statement regarding the terror attack, saying his thoughts are with all those affected.

He also urged that this is being treated as a terrorist incident and is being investigated by the Counter Terrorism Command.

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"All the victims were from the Muslim community and we will be deploying extra police patrols to reassure the public, especially those observing Ramadan,” he added.

"We are working hard to protect all communities and the public will see additional officers patrolling across the city and at Muslim places of worship.

"This was an attack on London and all Londoners. We should all stand together against extremists whatever their cause."

Meanwhile, an Imam is being praised for reportedly protecting the Finsbury Park suspect.

According to reports Mohammed Mahmoud was among a number of men who flagged down a police van and stopped angry crowds from harming the suspect.

It is understood three men tackled the offender, believed to be Mr Osborne, to the ground before fists were reportedly raised.

However, Mr Mahmoud shouted: “No one touch him – no one!”.

He then urged the crowd to remain calm until authorities arrived.

Mr Mahmoud said he didn’t act alone and applauded a group “of brothers” who kept the crowd calm and collected.

“We found a group of people quickly started to collect around the assailant. And some tried to hit him, either kicks or punches,” he told local media.

“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.”

After flagging down a police van he said he urged authorities to take the suspect away or he risked getting seriously injured by the mob.

“There was a mob attempt to hurt him, so we pushed people away from him until he was safely taken by police,” he added.

Investigations are ongoing. 

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