London (February 1, 2018): A man who steeped himself in far-right, anti-Muslim ideas before driving a van into a crowd of worshipers near a north London mosque was convicted Thursday of murder and attempted murder.
A jury at London’s Woolwich Crown Court deliberated for just an hour before finding 48-year-old Darren Osborne guilty of the June 2017 attack in the city’s Finsbury Park neighborhood.
Prosecutors said Osborne was motivated by extreme Islamophobia and saw Muslims as extremists or rapists in pedophile gangs.Another witness reported Osborne saying, “I’ve done my job, you can kill me now.”
Osborne’s partner, Sarah Andrews, told prosecutors he had become “brainwashed” and was a “ticking time bomb.”
Prosecutors said they classified the crime as terrorism because Osborne acted to advance a political purpose.
A note found in the van and Osborne’s comments to police mentioned a case in which a group of Muslim men were convicted of sexually exploiting women and girls in England, as well as the deadly Manchester Arena and London Bridge attacks carried out by Islamic radicals just weeks earlier.Commander Dean Haydon, a senior counter terrorism officer with London’s Metropolitan Police, said the case showed how “individuals can become radicalized really, really quickly” online.
“To be honest, some individuals could look at material today and decide to go and do an attack later on this evening,” Haydon said.
Although he denied the murder charges, Osborne did not hide his aim to kill. (News Agencies)