After a white van, allegedly being driven by Darren Osborne, ploughed down worshippers outside Finsbury Park mosque in London on Monday, Osborne’s mother spoke to media describing her reaction after seeing her son on news. Speaking to British newspaper The Sun, Christine Osborne, 72, said, “This is every mother’s worst nightmare. I’m at my wit’s end. I saw him on TV and recognised him straight away. I just screamed.” She further added that her son is not a terrorist but a “man with problems”. “My son is no terrorist. He’s just a man with problems and I don’t know how to cope with all this,” Christine told The Sun.
She went on to say that her son never talked about any terrorist attacks or about “bloody Muslims”. Speaking to British tabloid Daily Mail, Christine added that her son was a “complex” person with “mental health issues”.”He is disturbed, and has been on medication. He’s unemployed at the moment. He’s got problems, but he’s also got a wife and four kids, and we can’t talk to his partner Sarah, she’s somewhere safe,” she said. According to reports, Darren split with his partner Sarah Andrews, 42, six months ago.
Christine went on to say that she will not defend her son for the “atrocity” he has committed. “I’m not going to defend him, but he’s my son and it’s a terrible, terrible shock. It’s not just robbing a bank, it’s an atrocity,” she said. Christine also expressed her sympathy for the victims of the incident and said that her heart goes out to all those who were injured in the incident. “As a mum my heart goes out to everyone in Finsbury Park,” she was quoted by The Sun as saying.
One person died and 10 others were injured in the incident outside of Finsbury Park mosque in London. A lot of worshippers had gathered at the mosque the previous night for offering Ramadan prayers. The driver of the van was captured by the worshippers who later handed him to the police authorities. The suspect was later identified as Darren Osborne, a 47-year old resident of Cardiff, South Wales.
Muslim Council of Britain described the attack as “most violent manifestation of Islamophobia”, while residents of Finsbury Park said they were angry that the police seemed slow to call Monday’s incident a “terror attack”. They also expressed frustration that attacks on the Muslim community have received little coverage or sympathy.