Det var 47 år gamle Darren Osborne (bildet) som med hensikt kjørte en varebil inn i en folkemengde utenfor Muslim Welfare House ved moskèen i Finsbury Park natt til mandag. Folk hadde nettopp forlatt lokalet etter aftenbønn i forbindelse med ramadan og var i ferd med å gi førstehjelp til en eldre mann som hadde kollapset med hjerteinfarkt da Osborne pløyde inn i dem. Ti ble skadet, flere alvorlig, og den 50 år gamle seksbarnsfaren med hjerteinfarkt døde kort etter. Politiet er usikre på om dødsfallet skyldes angrepet, men tilstedeværende forteller at 50-åringen var kommet til bevissthet rett før Osborn angrep, melder Daily Mail.
Osborne ble overmannet av sivile og holdt nede til politiet ankom og vitner forteller at han ropte «Jeg vil drepe alle muslimer – jeg har gjort min del». Han skal også ha ropt at «dette er for London Bridge», en referanse til angrepet ved London Bridge 4. juni, hvor åtte ble drept og nærmere 50 skadet.
Terroristen, som er fra Wales og ble skilt for et halvt år siden, blir av andre pubgjester beskrevet som aggressiv og en «helvetes psykopat». Kvelden før angrepet ble han kastet ut fra en pub etter å ha forbannet muslimer og sverget «å gjøre skade». Dagen etter skal han ha leid en varebil før han kjørte til Finsbury Park.
Foreløpige opplysninger tyder på at Osborne ikke var kjent av politiet fra før, og i følge moren skal han heller ikke ha hatt forbindelser med ytre høyre-grupper.
It comes as regulars at his local pub, the Hollybush in Pentwyn, Cardiff, described Osborne being ‘drunk’ the night before the attack.
One said: ‘He got chucked out as he was so drunk. He was cursing Muslims and saying he would do some damage.’
Another regular at the pub said: ‘He’s a loud and aggressive person. He’s always shouting the odds if anyone disagrees with him.’
Osborne, a jobless mechanic, used to host raucous parties with his large family in his back garden in Cardiff, South Wales.
His neighbours said he is a ‘devoted father’ who was last seen taking his children to school on Friday.
On Sunday morning he displayed community spirit by changing a tap in a neighbour’s house – but hours later the father of four allegedly drove a rented van into worshippers in the capital.
Police today confirmed eleven people were caught up in the attack, including two who were said to be disabled, and one of them – a man – has since died.
His mother and other relatives still live in Weston-super-Mare and his sister tonight said she is ‘sorry for what’s happened.’
Speaking after the attack, his mother said that she had not seen her son in about one month and described him as being a ‘complex’ person.
She said: ‘I’m not going to defend him, but he’s my son and it’s a terrible, terrible shock.
‘It’s not just robbing a bank, it’s an atrocity. And at this moment in time, I can’t cope with it, I can’t. I don’t want to say anything more.
‘He is disturbed, and has been on medication. He’s unemployed at the moment. He’s got problems, but he’s also got a wife and four kids, and we can’t talk to his partner Sarah, she’s somewhere safe.’
She insisted he had no problems with Muslims and said he had no links with far-Right groups, adding that he was not a racist.
With her grandson Ellis, 26, who is mixed-race, next to her, she added: ‘Darren would stand up and die for Ellis.’ Osborne’s sister Nicola, 50, said: ‘He’s not interested in terrorism. I am very sorry for what’s happened.’
It has also been revealed that Osborne split from his partner Sarah Andrews, 42, six months ago.
Beskrivelsen av Osborne bringer således tankene hen på 29 år gamle Omar Mateen, som skjøt og drepte 48 og skadet nærmere 60 på nattklubben Pulse for homofile i Orlando i Florida i fjor. Heller ikke han var kjent av politiet fra før – selv om FBI hadde etterforsket ham for terrorforbindelser to ganger – men hadde lang historie med atferdsproblemer, rusmisbruk og aggresjon bak seg. Han hadde også samlivsproblemer og skal ha vært voldelig mot begge konene sine før de forlot ham. Han skal i følge faren ha blitt rasende da han så to homofile menn kysse hverandre på åpen gate, og under angrepet proklamerte han seg som «hellig kriger».
En muslimsk nabo av Osborne forteller imidlertid at han kalte den 12 år gamle sønnen hennes for «innavlet» i dagene før terrorangrepet. En annen muslimsk nabo forteller derimot at hun er sjokkert, for Osborne stilte opp hver gang hun trengte hjelp.
Tidligere venner opplyser at 47-åringen er beryktet for temperamentet sitt, provoserende atferd og for å starte slåsskamper.
A former barmaid at Weston-super-Mare’s Market House pub said Osborne was a well-known heavy drinker and troublemaker.
The woman, 40, who did not want to be named, said in the 1990s when she was 18, he grabbed her by the throat and pinned her to the wall as she worked.
‘As soon as we saw the pictures today we all recognised Darren – everyone knew him years ago because he was so unhinged,’ she said. ‘Obviously it’s shocking what he’s done – but then again it’s not surprising he’s done something like this because he was always violent and causing trouble.
‘He would be troublesome and provocative, he would goad people into wanting to fight and stuff like that. He was chaotic. Sometimes he would come in the pub and sit down and have a drink and be fine, amenable. The next minute he’d be starting a fight.’
Den 50 år gamle, muslimske seksbarnsfaren som var i ferd med å førstehjelp da Osborne pløyde inn i gruppen, beskrives som en svært trivelig og hjelpsom mann. Naboer sier at de er knust over det som har skjedd og at det nå er mye sinne i nabolaget.
Øyevitnet Rashid Hassan forsøkte å hjelpe en som ble skadet i angrepet og forteller at Osborne utviste stor aggresjon og ropte og skrek etter angrepet. Han forsøkte å flykte, men ble overmannet og holdt nede av fire menn til politiet kom.
‘The police came and surrounded the guy and people left him alone and he was cuffed and police said ‘you are safe’. People shouted ‘why did you do that?’ But he didn’t answer. He was swearing at us with his middle finger.
‘There were people bleeding on the ground, and crying. The old woman who I tried to help was crying. After that I felt very upset and I am scared this community is very few and we are a minority and people are now saying they want to go home because of it.
‘There was a man in a wheelchair who was on the ground as well. We are scared because of what happened here last night.’
Adam Kadar, 40, added: ‘We gave the attacker water, we tried to save him and relax him but he was trying to fight us, he was biting people and was aggressive.
En imam og flere andre i det muslimske miljøet måtte etterhvert beskytte Osborne mot en rasende folkemengde, samtidig som 47-åringen skrek at han ville drepe alle «jævla muslimer».
‘We tried to save him as people were very angry. In our religion, we do not want to kill anyone, so we had to save him.
‘As we tried to keep people away he was shouting ‘I will kill all Muslims, f****** Muslims. People said ‘why are you killing people?’ He said ‘they’re f****** Muslims… leave me alone.
Osborne opptrådte også svært provoserende da politiet ankom og smilte og blåste luftkyss til mengden da han ble fraktet vekk. Politiet har i ettertid rost folkemengdens beherskelse.
The vigil came as a hero Imam described how he prevented a mob attack on the suspect just moments after Muslim worshippers were mown down outside the mosque.
Muslim leader Mohammed Mahmoud stepped in when an angry crowd attempted to ‘kick and punch’ the suspect as he was being restrained by three men following the suspected terror attack.
Mr Mahmoud said he and a ‘group of brothers’ had managed to ‘extinguish any flames of mob rule’ as members of the public attempted to hurt the alleged terrorist ‘from every angle’.
He added that, despite tensions running high, the suspect – who is white – had come away ‘unscathed’ and remained ‘calm and silent’ as he was arrested by officers.
Mr Mahmoud told the BBC: ‘By God’s grace we managed to surround him and to protect him from any harm.
‘We stopped all forms of attack and abuse towards him that were coming from every angle.’
Mr Mahmoud said that, while the chaos unfolded, a police car drove past which he and some others managed to flag down.
‘We told them the situation,’ he continued. ‘We said ‘he is restrained, he mowed people down with a van, there is a mob attempting to hurt him, if you don’t take him God forbid he might be seriously hurt.
‘We pushed people away from him until he was safely taken by police into custody and put in the back of the van.
‘It wasn’t me alone – there was a group of brothers who were calm and collected and managed to calm people down and to extinguish any flames of anger or mob rule that would’ve taken charge had this group of mature brothers not stepped in.’
Earlier, the imam was hailed as the ‘hero of the day’ by Toufik Kacimi, chief executive of the Muslim Welfare House, for calming the angry crowd.
It is claimed he told them: ‘Don’t hit him – you do not touch him – hand him into the police’. At the time, the suspect was allegedly shouting: ‘I want to kill all Muslims – I did my bit’ before telling crowds: ‘Kill me, kill me’.
Scotland Yard has since praised the ‘restraint’ of the crowds who protected the alleged killer before the police arrived to arrest him.
Storbritannias islamske råd (Muslim Council of Britain – MCB) fordømmer angrepet som den «hittil mest voldelige manifestasjonen» av islamofobi og har bedt om ekstra sikkerhet rundt moskèer. Politiet bekrefter at det blir iverksatt ekstra sikkerhetstiltak. Ordfører i London, Sadiq Khan, oppfordrer folk til forbli rolige, men aktpågivende.
The van attack yards from Finsbury Park Mosque follows warnings of an unprecedented anti-Muslim backlash after recent terrorist atrocities.
Police in London recorded a spike in the number of Islamophobic incidents in the wake of the London Bridge outrage earlier this month, with 20 recorded on June 6 – compared with a daily average of 3.5.
It was the highest daily tally for 2017, and also higher than the numbers registered after the Paris attacks in November 2015, and the murder of Lee Rigby in May 2013.
In a speech last week, a former police chief warned that anti-Muslim sentiment online has been ‘relentless’ following the London Bridge attack on June 3.
Mak Chishty, an ex-Metropolitan Police commander who had been the country’s most senior Muslim officer before his retirement, said: ‘The backlash has been something of a different scale.’
While the circumstances and suspected motivations behind the Finsbury Park incident are yet to be made clear, it comes amid mounting concern over far-right extremism in the UK.
Warnings that the threat could be growing were raised after the conviction of Thomas Mair for the murder of Labour MP Jo Cox last year.
The Government’s Prevent and Channel programmes, which work to intervene before individuals are drawn into violent extremism, have seen a rise in the number of referrals linked to far-right ideology.
Counter-terrorism police have said that, while the threat is not of the same gravity as that posed by Islamic State or al Qaida, there are extreme right-wing groups attempting to provoke violence and sow discord.
Vitner forteller for øvrig at Osborne ropte til mengden at han ville gjøre det samme om og om igjen mens han ble arrestert.