Darren Osborne guilty of Finsbury Park terror attack

Darren Osborne

A man who drove a van into a crowd of Muslims near a London mosque has been found guilty of murder.

Darren Osborne, 48, ploughed into people in Finsbury Park in June 2017, killing Makram Ali, 51, and injuring nine others.

Osborne, from Cardiff, was also found guilty of attempted murder and is due to be sentenced on Friday. The jury took an hour to return the verdict at Woolwich Crown Court after an eight day trial.

Osborne drove the van into the crowd at about 00:15. Jurors were told the van only stopped when it hit some bollards. He then got out of the van and ran towards the crowd.

The trial heard Osborne became “obsessed” with Muslims in the weeks leading up to the attack, having watched the BBC drama Three Girls about the Rochdale grooming scandal.

Osborne started following Tommy Robinson, one of the founders of the English Defence League (EDL), and other far right leaders on social media, in the fortnight before the attack.

Mr Robinson sent him a group email saying: “There is a nation within a nation forming beneath the surface of the UK. It is a nation built on hatred, on violence and on Islam.”

The Muslim Council of Britain welcomed the guilty verdict passed on Darren Osborne.

Harun Khan, Secretary General of the Muslim Council of Britain said: “The scenes we witnessed last summer were the most violent manifestation of Islamophobia yet in our country. We cannot be complacent and regard this as a one-off terrorist incident.

“We heard during the trial how Osborne was motivated by anti-Muslim groups and Islamophobic tropes not only prevalent in far right circles, but also made acceptable in our mainstream. The case tells us that we must all exercise caution when tempted to stigmatise any group of people, regardless of colour, creed or community.”

Mr Khan added: “My condolences go out to the victims and their families. The survivors have conducted themselves with the utmost dignity. And they have been aided not only by solace from Allah, but also by the outpouring of sympathy and support from Britons of all walks of life. This, truly, is the best riposte to the terrorism in our midst. Here too we honour the quick thinking of Imam Mohammed Mahmoud who went out of his way to ensure no harm fell on the attacker.”

Khan also praised the response by the government and called for further action to ensure this does not happen again: “I commend the immediate action taken by the Prime Minister, Home Secretary, the Mayor of London, police, other leaders and the ambulance services. Immediately after the terrorist attack there was an enormous outpouring of solidarity. With that spirit, I hope that the leadership and powerful words from our government now translate into transformative action to tackle the growth in hate crime against Muslims, in line with action taken against other forms of bigotry.”

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