A 47-year-old man who ploughed his van into a group a pedestrians leaving a mosque in north London on early Monday morning (19 June) has been identified as Darren Osborne who was born in Singapore, the British media reported.
Osborn lives with his wife and four children in Cardiff suburb, Wales.
In the wee hours on Monday morning, he drove a van into a crowd of worshippers and according to witnesses, Osborn shouted: “I want to kill all Muslims.” One person died and 11 others injured. The BBC reported that all victims were Muslims.
Osborne survived the attack and was arrested on suspicion of attempted murder and of alleged terror offence.
He had previously expressed hatred of Muslims and was not known to the security services, the British government said.
Neighbours in Cardiff suburb described him to the British press as “aggressive” and “strange”. It is unclear what he does for a living but some told British media The Guardian he was jobless, but bought and sold cars.
Osborne grew up in Weston-super-Mare, North Somerset in England, where he schooled at Broadoak Mathematics and Computing College, The Telegraph reported.
Those who knew him in Weston when he used to live there described him as “a fighter” who would “flip” when drunk.
His mother, Christine Osborne, 72, who found out about her son’s arrest via the television 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.”
She later told ITV news her son is a “complex” person, adding “That’s all I can say. It’s a terrible, terrible shock.”
His wife, Sarah Andrews, 42, works as a pub chef, The Guardian reported. The couple is believed to have been separated.
Osborne’s nephew, Ellis Osborne, 26, said: “We are massively shocked; it’s unbelievable, it still hasn’t really sunk in. We are devastated for the families, our hearts go out to the people who have been injured.”
He also added that his uncle was “not a racist” and said he had never expressed any racist views, The Guardian reported.
Neighbours said Osborne was “quite a shouty person” often shouting at his wife and children in the street. 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.”
Osborn’s Muslim neighbour in Cardiff, Khadijh Sherazi told The Guardian she never had problems with him or his family until the recent weekend.
But he called her 12-year-old son an “inbred”, the British newspaper reported.
British police commissioner, Cressida Dick, has promised extra protection for Muslim communities in the coming days.
She said: “This was quite clearly an attack on Muslims who looked like they were probably Muslims and they were coming from a prayer meeting,” adding “We treat this as a terrorist attack.
“And the people in Muslim communities attending prayers will see their police protecting them in the coming days and nights,” she said.
The attack is the third in Britain this year involving a vehicle deliberately driven into pedestrians.