‘Brainwashed’ killer had online links to far right

During Darren Osborne’s two-week trial, we learned what may have pushed the father-of-four to bring terror to the streets of north London in a hate-filled act fuelled by vengeance.

According to the 48-year-old’s long-term girlfriend, his Islamophobic views developed a matter of weeks before he attacked innocent Muslim worshippers making their way home from Ramadan prayers last June.

Sarah Andrews said Osborne was increasingly angry that not enough was being done to combat Islamic extremism.

Mobiles and tablets seized by police from Osborne’s home showed internet searches for far-right groups including Britain First and the English Defence League (EDL).

In the weeks leading up to the attack, Ms Andrews told police that Osborne had been reading posts by former EDL leader Tommy Robinson, real name Stephen Yaxley-Lennon, on Twitter.

The court heard how the devices had also received mailing list emails from Robinson and an automated direct message on Twitter from Britain First deputy leader Jayda Fransen.

Paul Golding, leader of Britain First, and the party's deputy leader, Jayda Fransen, arrive at the Royal Courts of Justice in central London, where he is appearing in connection with an alleged breach of an injunction, relating to his activities around mosques.

Image: The 48-year-old searched for Britain First’s Jayda Fransen

Here is an outline of events leading up to Osborne’s attack:

:: 22 March 2017: Westminster terror attack kills five and injures 49 others
:: 16 May 2017: Osborne watches Three Girls, a drama about the Rochdale grooming scandal
:: 22 May 2017: Manchester Arena terror attack kills 22 people and injures 119 more at an Ariana Grande concert
:: 3 June 2017: London Bridge terror attack kills eight people and injures many others
:: 19 June 2017: Osborne carries out the Finsbury Park terror attack, killing one man and injuring nine

Police analysis of Osborne’s electronic devices shows an increasing interest in far-right material in the weeks leading up to his attack.

Records show he joined Twitter on 3 June – the day of the London Bridge attack.

On the same day, a direct Twitter message was received from Ms Fransen, believed to be an automated message.

Tommy Robinson

Image: Osborne read tweets by former EDL leader Tommy Robinson

Over the next few days, searches were made for “Jayda Fransen” many times, along with searches for Britain First leader Paul Golding and Mr Robinson.

Osborne is said to have read articles on Lee Rigby, the British Army soldier killed in a terror attack in 2013, and used a search engine to ask: “Which party wants to bring back the death penalty?”

Articles on “InfoWars”, described in court as a “conspiracy theory and fake news website”, were also looked at.

On 9 June, an automated mailing list email was received in Mr Robinson’s name asking Osborne to join a protest.

Mentioning the Manchester Arena bomber, it read: “What Salman Abedi did is not the beginning and it won’t be the end.

“There is a nation within a nation forming just beneath the surface of the UK.

“It is a nation built on hatred, on violence and on Islam.”

London Bridge terror attack

Image: Osborne joined Twitter the same day as the London Bridge attack

Prosecutor Jonathan Rees QC said it was not suggested the message was sent directly from Mr Robinson.

Police records show “Tommy Robinson” was searched for at least a dozen times, and the activist’s tweets had been accessed. Another automated campaign email was received from Mr Robinson on 14 June.

One of Mr Robinson’s Twitter posts that was shown to be accessed referred to growing anger at authorities over the Grenfell Tower fire.

It read: “Anger? When a Muslim bombed our kids we were told not to look back in anger?”

In an interview with Sky News, Mr Robinson said: “I have nothing to do with this case.

“Every single opportunity I have had at every single high-profile thing, I’ve called for no trouble, no violence and I always say that violence is not the answer.”

Dean Haydon, head of Scotland Yard’s counter-terrorism command, said: “He has become, what I would call radicalised, within a period of three to four weeks in the lead-up to the attack.

More from Finsbury Park attack

“He certainly was not, as far as we can tell, interested in any extreme right-wing or domestic extremism groups or individuals up until that stage.

“It was clear that in the space of only a few weeks, Osborne had developed a warped and twisted view to such a degree that he was prepared to plan and carry out this attack.”