Drunken bar blather of anti-Islam driver
The driver allegedly behind the van attack outside a mosque in London was identified Monday as a Welsh father of four who had recently ranted about Muslims and vowed to “do some damage.”
Darren Osborne, 47, was arrested for terror offenses and attempted murder after he rammed a white rental truck into a crowd of Muslims outside Finsbury Park Mosque around midnight Monday.
The worshippers had been helping an elderly man who had collapsed after Ramadan night prayers.
“This is being treated as a terrorist incident and is being investigated by the Counter Terrorism Command,” said Neil Basu of the Metropolitan Police.
Osborne had been drinking at a pub on Saturday night and got so drunk he was thrown out.
“He was cursing Muslims and saying he would do some damage,” a pub patron told the Daily Mail.
Eleven people were injured in the crash, and the elderly man later died, but police are still investigating whether his death was related to the attack.
Osborne was defiant after the crash, shouting about his desire to “kill all Muslims,” witnesses said.
“I did the job . . . I done my bit,” he said, according to a witness. “I’d do it again. I’d do it again.”
Several men outside the mosque wrestled him out of the van and pinned him to the ground — at which point some members of the angry mob attempted to beat him up.
But the mosque’s imam, Mohammed Mahmoud, 30, intervened, telling the crowd, “No one touch him. No one! No one!”
Mahmoud is now being hailed as a hero after he and several others restrained the mob, possibly saving Osborne’s life.
“Some tried to hit him, either kicks or punches,” Mahmoud said. “By God’s grace, we man- aged 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.”
When police arrived, Osborne was taken into custody, and witnesses said he mockingly blew a kiss from the back of a van as they drove away.
Osborne, who was not on any security watch lists, was arrested for attempted murder and “the commission, preparation or instigation of terrorism,” police said.
Law enforcement searched his home in Cardiff, Wales, where neighbors said he had recently split with his partner, Sarah Andrews, 42, a chef at a nearby pub.
“Oh, God . . . You just can’t imagine,” Osborne’s mother, Christine, told ITV News when asked about her son’s actions. “I just can’t talk about it. I just don’t know.”
TARGETED: Darren Osborne (right) was so drunk, he was kicked out of a pub the night before he allegedly drove this truck into worshippers outside a London mosque. Imam Mohammed Mahmoud (left) protected him from an angry crowd.