LONDON – British authorities charged an unemployed man from Wales with murder and attempted murder Friday in connection with the van attack on a crowd of Muslim worshippers near two north London mosques.
Darren Osborne spoke only to confirm his name and will appear at the Central Criminal Court next week. Prosecutors allege he carried out a premeditated attack motivated by a hatred of Muslims and extreme political views and that he acted deliberately to maim, injure and terrify.
Makram Ali, a 51-year-old Bangladeshi immigrant, died in the attack. The father of six appeared to suffer a medical problem moments before the collision, but an initial post-mortem examination found he died from "multiple injuries."
A crowd gathered after the attack, and witnesses said the suspect was detained by Mohammed Mahmoud, a local imam who helped shield Osborne from attack until police arrived.
The attack on Monday has raised tensions in London, which had suffered three previous extremist attacks in the last few months as well as fire that killed at least 79 people, many of them immigrants.
Police characterized the van incident, which came as worshippers were leaving mosques after prayers marking the holy month of Ramadan, as a terrorist attack directed at Muslims.