February 1, 2018 / 4:08 PM / 18 days ago

Man radicalized by TV drama guilty of ramming van into Muslims near London mosque

LONDON (Reuters) - A man who developed a hatred of Muslims after watching a TV drama about child sex crimes involving Asian men was found guilty on Thursday of ploughing a van into worshippers outside a north London Mosque weeks later, killing one.

Darren Osborne, 48, drove the hired vehicle into a group of Muslims gathered around father-of-six Makram Ali, 51, who had collapsed near his home after leaving late-night Ramadan prayers in Finsbury Park.

He killed Ali and injured 12 others, two seriously. At Woolwich Crown Court, Osborne was found guilty of murder and attempted murder, with police and prosecutors saying it was an act of terrorism.

It was the fourth incident blamed on terrorists in Britain in the space of three months and it followed three Islamist attacks.

Osborne, who had not previously expressed far-right views, developed an obsession with Muslims after watching the BBC program “Three Girls”, a drama broadcast last May about events in Rochdale, northern England, where white girls were abused by gangs of mainly British Pakistani men.

This hatred was subsequently fueled by online research into extreme right-wing figures and groups, police said.

Osborne will be sentenced on Friday.

Reporting by Michael Holden; editing by Stephen Addison

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