Finsbury Park Mosque attack: Darren Osborne charged with terrorism-related murder

Police say 47-year-old from Cardiff also charged with attempted murder

Katie Forster
Friday 23 June 2017 12:55
The van driver was remanded in custody after appearing at Westminster Magistrates’ Court this afternoon
The van driver was remanded in custody after appearing at Westminster Magistrates’ Court this afternoon

Darren Osborne has been charged with terrorism-related murder and attempted murder related to the Finsbury Park Mosque attack, police have said.

The 47-year-old van driver from Cardiff has been remanded in custody over the crash which left one dead and 11 injured in the early hours of Monday.

Counter-terror officers have been investigating the incident, in which a van hit worshippers leaving evening prayers at a mosque on Seven Sisters Road in north London.

Osborne, who was not previously known to security services, appeared at Westminster Magistrates’ Court this afternoon.

Tributes have been paid to grandfather Makram Ali, 51, who died from multiple injuries in the incident.

Mr Ali, from Haringey, came to the UK from Bangladesh when he was 10 years old and was said to be a well-known face around Finsbury Park through his regular attendance at worship.

His family called him a “quiet gentle man” who “didn't get involved in political or social discussion”.

“He instead took comfort and enjoyment spending time with his wife, children and grandchildren and he was always ready to make a funny joke when you least expected,” they said.

At around 12.20am on Monday, a speeding white van swerved into people gathered outside the Muslim Welfare House mosque. Nine people were taken to hospital and two were treated at the scene. All the victims were Muslim.

Police said they “responded instantly” and armed officers were on the scene within ten minutes.

The head of the firm that rented out the vehicle, Pontyclun Van Hire, called the terror attack “shocking and cowardly”.

Len Evans said: “Together with all the staff at Pontyclun Van Hire, I am doing everything I can to assist the Metropolitan Police in their inquiries.”

Detectives have released a photo of the van used in the attack, registration number PO54 CSF, while calling on anyone who spoke to the driver in the day leading up to the attack to call on 0800 789 321.

An imam reportedly saved Osborne from being attacked by members of the public in the immediate aftermath of the crash.

One witness said the furious crowd might have injured or killed him were it not for the intervention of Mohammed Mahmoud.

London residents bring flowers in solidarity with Finsbury Park Mosque after attack

Community groups and charities have condemned the attack, warning against entering a “cycle of tit-for-tat violence” that is the goal of extremists.

In a statement, the organisation Hope Not Hate said that “we must oppose far-right extremism with the same intensity that we oppose Islamist extremism – a plague on both their houses is our call, as we said back in 2013 after the murder of Lee Rigby”.

Neil Basu of the National Police Chiefs’ Council said counter-terror officers have spoken to 28 witnesses so far who were at the scene of the attack, trawled through around 80 hours of CCTV, visited 140 locations and recovered 33 digital devices from properties in Wales.