Finsbury Park attack: Suspect Darren Osborne's family 'in shock'

Relatives 'devastated' after father of four is accused of driving van into worshippers from nearby mosque

Darren Osborne
Darren Osborne killed one man and injured at least nine others
(Image credit: Getty images)

Relatives of Finsbury Park suspect Darren Osborne say they are "shocked" by the news he is accused of mowing down a group of pedestrians in north London.

In a statement to Sky News, they said: "We are devastated for the families. Our hearts go out to the people who have been injured."

Osborne, 47, a father of four living in Cardiff, is being held on suspicion of the commission, preparation or instigation of terrorism following the incident in north London in the early hours of Monday morning.

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Witnesses said they heard him shouting: "I want to kill all Muslims" after he drove a hired van into a group of worshippers who had left the nearby mosque. They had been helping a man who had collapsed and later died, although it is not clear if it was because of the attack, says the BBC. Nine other people were injured, some seriously.

"Muslim residents on the Cardiff estate where he lived with his partner and four children, claimed he had previously been friendly but said his attitude had changed in recent weeks," the Daily Telegraph says.

However, Osborne's neighbour Rebecca Carpenter told The Guardian: "He always seemed an aggressive and strange person. He never caused us any real problems, but we could often hear him shouting from the other side of the street."

Finsbury Park attack: What we know so far

19 June

Prime Minister Theresa May has called last night's terror attack outside a north London mosque "every bit as sickening" as the Manchester and London Bridge atrocities.

May was speaking after one person died and 10 people were injured when a man drove a van into worshippers near a north London mosque.

Police say all the victims of the attack, which was in the area of Finsbury Park Mosque, were Muslim.

Labour leader and local MP Jeremy Corbyn today visited Muslim Welfare House where the attack took place.

He spoke of "terror on the streets ... in the communities ... We have to all reach out and feel their pain and their stress," he said.

The Muslim Council of Britain say this was the "most violent manifestation to date" of Islamophobic incidents in recent times.

"We expect the authorities to increase security outside mosques as a matter of urgency."

Attention has also turned to the initial reaction to the incident. Members of the Muslim community in the area told Buzzfeed News's Aisha Gani that they questioned why it was not labelled a terror attack much sooner.

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Others claimed that the government needed to do more to portray muslims in the UK in a positive light.

One person, who asked not to be named, told the BBC: "I'm really upset. I feel let down by the government that we are being portrayed as savages that we are not. They've portrayed us as if we walk around killing infidels. Just because one or two people believe that it doesn't mean the whole Muslim community does."

What do we know about the suspect?

A 48-year-old man has been arrested on suspicion of attempted murder.

He was unknown to the security services, according to security minister Ben Wallace.
"This man was not known to the authorities in the space of extremism or far right extremism and he clearly took advantage of a simple weapon, a vehicle, to make an attack on people going about their business," he told Sky News.

Witnesses say the driver of the vehicle shouted "I want to kill all Muslims" before onlookers pinned him to the ground. The suspect was apparently protected by a local imam after being pinned down by members of the Muslim community.

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Abdulrahman Saleh Alamoudi, who witnessed the attack, suggested the attacker could have been heading for the nearby Finsbury Park mosque, but the driver changed course after seeing the crowd.

He added that the man was "very big and strong" and that it had taken several people to subdue him.

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The van involved in the attack is marked with the livery of a hire company based on an industrial estate close to the M4, 12 miles west of Cardiff.

What has the reaction been to the attack?

Many people argue that the backdrop to the incident is a rise in Islamophobia in the UK.

Miqaad Versi from the Muslim Council of Britain told the BBC that it had become "socially acceptable to hate Muslims" in the UK.

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This idea was echoed by James Melville in an article for the Huffington Post, where he says: "Hatred breeds hatred" and referred to "tabloid newspapers with an almost daily drip-feed demonising Muslims and creating Islamophobia."

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Author Hussein Kesvani went further arguing it was "always just a matter of time until it happened", adding that "for anyone who's experienced anti-Muslim hatred and bigotry, the incident is the worst manifestation of something that's instantly recognisable."

Finsbury Park attack: One killed as van hits worshippers outside London mosque

19 June

One person was killed and eight injured after a van drove into a crowd of worshippers near the Finsbury Park Mosque in north London last night.

Prime Minister Theresa May says police are treating the incident "as a potential terror attack".

"Many of the victims are believed to have just left evening prayers at the Muslim Welfare House after breaking the Ramadan fast," says the BBC.

The Metropolitan Police said: "The driver of the van - a man aged 48 - was found detained by members of the public at the scene and then arrested by police in connection with the incident." The man has been taken to hospital "as a precaution".

Witnesses described scenes of chaos immediately after the incident, with several saying the van was "deliberately swerving" into pedestrians.

Two people "said that the driver got out of the vehicle after hitting about ten people and screamed that he wanted to 'kill all Muslims'", The Times reports.

Harun Khan, secretary general of the Muslim Council of Britain, said the attack had been intentional.

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"One man could be seen giving CPR to a victim in the street while another man's head injury was treated with a makeshift dressing," the BBC says.

Jeremy Corbyn, whose constituency includes Finsbury Park, said he was "totally shocked" by the event, the Daily Mirror reports.

London Mayor Sadiq Khan urged people to remain calm and vigilant, according to The Independent. "While this appears to be an attack on a particular community," he said, "like the terrible attacks in Manchester, Westminster and London Bridge it is also an assault on all our shared values of tolerance, freedom and respect."

He said: "While this appears to be an attack on a particular community, like the terrible attacks in Manchester, Westminster and London Bridge, it is also an assault on all our shared values of tolerance, freedom and respect."

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