LONDON — British police have confirmed they are holding the lone suspect in theon suspicion of committing terrorism offenses.
Police have not formally charged or publically identified the 47-year-old man, but he has been identified by family and neighbors as Darren Osborne, from the Welsh city of Cardiff.
He was initially arrested in the early hours of Monday, after being held by bystanders to the attack, on suspicion of attempted murder, but the latest statement from the London Metropolitan Police made it clear he was also likely to be charged with terrorism.
Some of Osborne’s neighbors have described the father of four as “aggressive” and “strange” in interviews with British media, and a family member said he was a “troubled” man who had struggled with mental health issues recently, but insisted he was not a racist.
Witnesses said Osborne claimed he wanted to “kill all Muslims” after he drove into a crowd leaving a mosque early Monday morning.
One man who was receiving first aid at the time of the attack died; it was still unclear Tuesday if his death was a result of the attack or from a previous condition.
Osborne is now being held on suspicion of the “commission, preparation or instigation of terrorism including murder and attempted murder.”
In a statement released on behalf of the family, the suspect’s nephew Ellis Osborne said his uncle was “not a racist,” and had never expressed racist views. He said the family was “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 said, adding, “It’s madness. It is obviously sheer madness.”
Osborne’s own mother, Christine, 72, told The Sun newspaper she was living “every mother’s worst nightmare.” She said she screamed when she him being arrested in video broadcast across Britain on Monday morning.
“My son is no terrorist — he’s just a man with problems and I don’t know how to…