Darren Osborne was named in the British press as the man arrested on suspicion of ploughing a van yesterday into a group of Muslims in London. Sources said he is a father of four, separated from his wife and was born in Singapore. The police searched his house in Cardiff yesterday.
“This was quite clearly an attack on Muslims who looked like they were probably Muslims and they were coming from a prayer meeting,” said the Met police commissioner, Cressida Dick. “We treat this as a terrorist attack and we in the Met are as shocked as anybody in this local community or across the country at what has happened.”
Nine people were hospitalised after a white driver, who witnesses said shouted, "I want to kill all Muslims", slammed into a crowd near a mosque in the Finsbury Park area of London. One elderly man, who had collapsed moments before the van appeared, was pronounced dead at the scene, although police have not yet confirmed whether he died as a result of the attack.
Pedestrians held onto the Singapore-born suspect until he was detained by police and later arrested on charges of "the commission, preparation or instigation of terrorism including murder and attempted murder."
Neighbours in Pentwyn claimed that over the weekend, Osborne had called a 12-year-old Muslim neighbour an “inbred” and had been thrown out of a local pub for getting drunk, “cursing Muslims and saying he would do some damage”.
Osborne’s Muslim neighbour in Cardiff, Khadijh Sherazi, said she had never had any problems with him or his family until this weekend. Her son, Nadeem, 12, said, “I was on my bike and he just came up to me and said, ‘Inbred.’ Just out there [on the road]. It was just a normal voice.”
His sister, Nadia, 10, said she and her grandmother also heard Osborne in his garden using the same word. “All of a sudden we heard him say, ‘Inbred.’ I said to my nan: ‘Did you hear that?’ She said it was probably to his dogs.”
Another neighbour said Osborne could often be seen in the street arguing with his wife. Neighbours in the Cardiff suburb where he had lived for several years described him as “aggressive” and “strange”. They said it was unclear what he did for work. Some said he was jobless, but bought and sold cars.
Osborne was born in Singapore and his mother, sister and nephew live in Weston-super-Mare. His mother, Christine Osborne, 72, told the Guardian: “I’m sorry, I’m not talking to reporters. He is my son, if that’s what you want to know. You should talk to his partner, Sarah, the mother of his four children.”
Osborne also appears to have a Twitter account, which he has never used to send his own tweets, instead monitoring 32 other users, including Paul Golding and Jayda Fransen, the leaders of the far right party Britain First.