In the early hours of Monday morning in the Finsbury Park area of north London, pedestrians outside of the Finsbury Park Mosque were struck by a van, leaving several members of the Muslim community injured. The man driving the van, now identified as Daren Osborne, was detained by bystanders until being arrested by local authorities.
As reported by CNN, Osborne, the 47-year-old Cardiff, Wales resident who drive the van involved in the incident, is being held for terrorism offense according to a statement from the London Metropolitan Police.
Speaking about the attack, Theresa May, the UK Prime Minister, said, “This was an attack on Muslims near their place of worship and, like all terrorism in whatever form, it shares the same fundamental goal; it seeks to drive us apart and to break the precious bonds of solidarity and citizenship which we share in this country.”
The vehicle in use displayed a logo and phone number for Pontyclun Van Hire. Authorities confirmed the van used by Osborne was a rental that was secured from the company, which is based in Wales.
After the attack, an angered crowd surrounded Osborne, threatening to turn on the driver. Toufik Kacimi, CEO of the Muslim Welfare House, stated that after the van driver had stopped, the attacker shouted, “I did my bit, you deserve it.”
Other witnesses who spoke with the Standard stated Osborne was shouting “kill me, kill me” as he was being restrained by bystanders on the scene.
Imam Mohammed Mahmoud, a representative of the Muslim Welfare House who was on site after the event, instructed the mob to leave Osborne unharmed saying, “Do not touch him.”
Ben Wallace, the UK Security Minister, stated Osborne “did not appear on the security services’ radar” before the attack. “We didn’t have any prior knowledge of him from the security services.”
At this time, local authorities believe Osborne acted alone, despite early witness reports suggesting another two people were seen fleeing from the scene.
One person was found dead at the site, but it has not been revealed whether the individual was killed in the attack, as he reportedly was already receiving first aid treatment when the events began. An additional two people were treated on scene while nine more were taken to area hospitals.
The terror attack is still under investigation, and the London Metropolitan Police’s Counter Terrorism Command is requesting that any witnesses to the event come forward. Searches are also being carried out in Cardiff at a residential address.
Extra patrols have also been assigned after this latest attack to “reassure communities, especially those observing Ramadan,” said London Mayor Sadiq Khan.