London Finsbury Park mosque attack: Suspect named as Darren Osborne

London Finsbury Park mosque attack: Suspect named as Darren Osborne

Police officers attend to the scene after a vehicle collided with pedestrians in the Finsbury Park neighbourhood of North London on June 19. Photograph: (Reuters)

WION Web Team New Delhi, Delhi, India Jun 20, 2017, 01.58 AM (IST)

A 47-year-old father of four, Darren Osborne, was named in the British press as the man arrested on suspicion of ploughing a van on Monday into a group of Muslims in London.

London police said earlier the mosque attack suspect was arrested on terror grounds after a van struck a crowd outside Finsbury Mosque Park in north London at midnight, resulting in one dead and ten injured, AFP reports.

Counter-terrorism police are still investigating the incident, which is being treated as the latest terror attack in Britain.

The 48-year-old driver of the van was restrained by people at the scene and then arrested on suspicion of attempted murder. Police believe he acted alone.

"He was shouting: 'All Muslims, I want to kill all Muslims'," a witness, Khalid Amin, told BBC television.
 

A video appeared on social media that showed police detaining a man suspected of driving a van into people near London's Finsbury Park (WION)

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The van "deliberately mowed down Muslim men and women leaving late evening prayers" at the mosque and the nearby Muslim Welfare House at midnight, the Finsbury Mosque said.

Ten people were hurt, all of them Muslims, with eight of them requiring hospital treatment, AFP reported.

Two of them were in a very serious condition, police said.

British PM Theresa May condemned the "sickening" terror attack and said hatred and evil would never succeed. She said extra police resources would be deployed to provide reassurance and said Britain had been far too tolerant of all forms of extremism in the past. 

London's mayor Sadiq Khan earlier broke the news on Facebook, calling the incident "a horrific terrorist attack":

After the London Bridge attack, Sadiq Khan had said there had been a 40 per cent increase in racist incidents in the city and a fivefold increase in the number of anti-Muslim incidents.

Initially, witnesses reported that the vehicle had apparently veered off the road and into crows outside the mosque, but that it was unclear whether or not it was deliberate. This comes near the end of Ramadan, the holiest time of the year for Muslims.

Harun Khan, the head of the MCB, tweeted that the van had "intentionally" run over people leaving night prayers held during the holy month of Ramadan.

According to the Independent, footage of the incident showed injured people motionless on the pavement as angry crowds surrounded a white man believed to be the driver.

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The attack has been linked to an increase in anti-Muslim hate crimes, particularly since the London Bridge rampage on June 3 that left eight people dead and was claimed by the IS.

"This was an attack on London and all Londoners and we should all stand together against extremists whatever their cause," Neil Basu, senior counter-terrorism officer for the Metropolitan Police told AFP.

He added that it had "all the hallmarks" of a terrorist attack.

It unfolded as a man was receiving first aid from members of the public in an unrelated incident. The man later died, though it is not yet clear if his death was linked to the attack, Basu said.

Opposition Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, the local MP for the area, said he would attend prayers later in the day at the mosque.

"I call on everyone to stand together against those who seek to divide us," he said.

The Finsbury Park mosque was once a notorious hub for radical Islamists but has changed markedly in recent years under new management.

Its former imam, Abu Hamza, was jailed for life in New York on terrorism charges in 2015.

In 2015, the mosque was one of around 20 that took part in an open day organised by the MCB to promote better understanding of Islam after Islamist-inspired terrorist attacks in Paris.

Despite the change in leadership and the focus on bolstering inter-faith relations, the mosque reported that it had received a string of threatening emails and letters in the wake of the terror attacks in Paris.

Watch:

A van ploughed into worshippers outside a mosque in London on Sunday night, killing one person and injuring eight people in what London's mayor described as "a horrific terrorist attack" (WION)

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(WION)

STORY HIGHLIGHTS

  • Osborne was arrested earlier by London police on terror grounds
  • A van struck a crowd outside Finsbury Mosque Park in north London at midnight
  • 10 people were hurt, all of them Muslims, with eight of them requiring hospital treatment
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