The man suspected of driving into Muslims outside of the Muslim Welfare Centre on Monday evening was asked to leave a pub following an ‘anti-Muslim rant’ over the weekend.
A group of people were helping a man who had collapsed when they were hit by the van at 00:20 BST on June 19. Police have confirmed that it is too early to speculate if the death is connected to the attack. In a statement, deputy assistant commissioner Neil Basu added: “Officers were in the immediate vicinity as the attack unfolded and responded instantly. Additional officers arrived within 10 minutes.
Speaking to Sky News, the Home Secretary Amber Rudd confirmed that the van attack was ‘immediately’ treated as a terrorist attack by police.
Darren Osborne, 47, was arrested on suspicion of the commission, preparation and instigation of terrorism, attempted murder and murder.
The general manager of the Hollybush pub in Cardiff, Andy Parker, asked Mr Osborne to leave following an anti-Muslim rant on Saturday night. A pub local told Sky News that: “When he came in the landlord said he was on his own and started shouting ‘I’ll kill every f****** Muslim’.”
Mr Parker told the Times: “He was very motivated about the Muslim Al Quds Day rally and kept saying: ‘Our brothers and sisters are dying and someone needs to do something about it”.
A pub local named Jack Norman, 20, who helped remove Mr Osborne from the pub, added that he had ranted about the prospect of living under ‘Sharia law’.
Hours later, and South Wales Police were alerted to a ‘drunk man’ sleeping in a van matching the description of the van used in the terror attack a day before the attack. A police spokesperson confirmed that officers attended the scene and assessed that no offences had occurred.
Pub locals describe Mr Osborne as belligerent and aggressive. He had marital problems and may have spent some time living in the woods.
His Muslim neighbours spoke of an unremarkable man who they never had a complaint against him until the weekend. The family’s 12-year-old son, Nadeem, 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.”
Other family members also heard Mr Osborne use the ‘inbred’.
Residents spoke of a ‘polite’ man who had become more aggressive in recent weeks. One neighbour recalled an incident where Mr Osborne is said to have shouted at family members and thrown things around the garden.
May residents in the Cardiff cul-de-sac had expressed their sadness and shock at the news.
On social media, it’s alleged that Mr Osborne had a Twitter account, though he never sent his own tweets, he did follow the leadership of the far-right party and street defence movement Britain First.
Toufik Kacimi, 48, chief executive of the Muslim Welfare House, said that Mr Osborne had driven around asking for directions to Finsbury Park Mosque. Appearing on Good Morning Britain, a couple spoke of their fear that they had unwittingly given him directions to the Finsbury Park area.
Police have been given more time to question the terror suspect. The warrant has been authorised until 00:54hrs on Saturday, 24 June.