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UK: Man found guilty of fatal London mosque attack

Friday 2 February 2018, by siawi3

Source: https://www.dawn.com/news/1386724/man-found-guilty-of-fatal-london-mosque-attack

Man found guilty of fatal London mosque attack

AFP

February 02, 2018

A man who rapidly became obsessed with Muslims was found guilty on Thursday of murder, having deliberately driven a van into a group of worshippers near a London mosque.

Darren Osborne, 48, became radicalised over four weeks last year after watching a television programme about a child sex ring scandal involving a gang of mainly Muslim men in northern England.

Osborne, from Cardiff, was convicted of murdering 51-year-old Makram Ali and trying to kill others in the Finsbury Park area of north London on June 19. Prosecutors said they were “clear throughout that this was a terrorist attack”.

Unemployed “loner” Osborne had pleaded not guilty, telling London’s Woolwich Crown Court that a man called “Dave” was driving at the time. But witnesses recalled Osborne saying: “I’ve done my job, you can kill me now” and “at least I had a proper go” to members of the public in the immediate aftermath of the attack.

The jury of eight women and four men took one hour to convict the father-of-four.

Rapid radicalisation

Osborne had a history of depression and alcohol and drugs problems. At the time of the attack, he was living in a tent.

In May, Osborne watched the BBC drama “Three Girls”, which told the story of three victims of the Rochdale child abuse ring, and quickly grew angry at what he deemed as inaction over the scandal. The May 22 Manchester suicide bombing and the June 3 London Bridge van attack and stabbing rampage further fuelled his obsession.

He began researching far-right material online, police said.

Osborne hired a van and drove to London intent on attacking a pro-Palestinian march, but was prevented from doing so by road closures. He told his trial that he hoped to kill the leftist Labour opposition leader Jeremy Corbyn in the attack, as it would have been “one less terrorist off our streets” while killing Labour London Mayor Sadiq Khan as well “would have been like winning the lottery”.

Osborne then drove around London looking for a target before heading to Finsbury Park, where worshippers were leaving a mosque and an Islamic centre after Ramadan prayers.

A crowd had gathered around Ali, who had collapsed in a side street and, Osborne ploughed into them, killing Ali and injuring 12 others, several of whom suffered broken bones, including two who sustained life-changing injuries.

Crashing into bollards at the end of the street, he tried to escape on foot but was floored by witnesses. A local imam prevented him from being badly beaten up as the crowd surrounded him.