LONDON: The driver of the van that ploughed into worshippers near a London mosque in the early hours of Monday, injuring 10 people, two of them seriously, has been identified as a 47-year-old father of four who was born in Singapore, according to British media reports.
British newspapers The Guardian and Daily Mirror identified him as Darren Osborne, who lives with his partner and four children in Cardiff, Wales, according to his former friends. He was grabbed at the scene by locals and pinned down until police arrived. The BBC later also named Obsorne as the alleged driver of the van.
The man has not yet been named by police. He was held on suspicion of attempted murder which was later extended to preparing or instigating terrorism, including murder and attempted murder.
After being seized, he said he had wanted to kill "many Muslim people," one witness told journalists.
Osborne grew up in Weston-super-Mare, North Somerset, but public records reveal that he was born in Singapore in 1969, reported The Guardian and Daily Mirror.
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.”
A vehicle swerved into a group of mainly North and West African people shortly after midnight as they left prayers at the Muslim Welfare House and the nearby Finsbury Park Mosque in north London, one of the biggest in Britain, in what Prime Minister Theresa May said was a sickening, terrorist attack on Muslims.
The driver, a 47-year-old white man, was grabbed at the scene by locals and pinned down until police arrived.
A man, who had earlier suffered a heart attack, died at the scene but it was not clear if his death was connected to the van attack.
"This morning, our country woke to news of another terrorist attack on the streets of our capital city: the second this month and every bit as sickening as those which have come before," May told reporters outside her Downing Street office.
"This was an attack on Muslims near their place of worship," said May who later visited the mosque.
The attack was the fourth since March in Britain and the third to involve a vehicle deliberately driven at pedestrians. - The Straits Times/Asia News Network