Elderly Woman Apologizes to Imam for London Mosque Attack: Attacker Is 'Not a Christian but a Pig'

London mosque attack
A man looks at messages and tributes left near to where a van was driven at Muslims in Finsbury Park, North London, Britain, June 19, 2017. |

An elderly woman on a mobility scooter traveled to Finsbury Park mosque in London, the sight of the latest terrorist attack in the British capital, to apologize to the imam for the actions of the attacker, who she said is "not a Christian."

According to RT, the pensioner, Julie Simpson, from Ilford, east London, told correspondent Eisa Ali: "I came here because people who have done this are not English. They are not Christian ... they are animals, they are pigs."

Simpson was referring to Darren Osborne, the 47-year-old suspect who early Monday morning drove a van into worshipers who had just left the mosque, killing one person and injuring 10 others.

The suspect shouted, "I want to kill all Muslims," according to witnesses.

The Facebook video, which shows Simpson speaking with the imam, Mohammed Mahmoud, has been viewed nearly 470,000 times since it was posted on Monday.

"I'm so sorry, I'm so sorry for this, I am," Simpson told the imam, and gave a monetary donation for the victims.

"It rips my heart out. It literally rips my heart out. I came all the way from Ilford, just to see you, to say I am so, so sorry.

"I was crying, I was crying all the time, I thought to myself: What could I do? I can't do nothing."

Mahmoud thanked the woman for her donation, but said that she does not have to apologize on the attacker's behalf, as he does not represent her or other Christians. The imam also said that extremists with the Islamic State terrorist group do not represent Muslims.

As The Telegraph reported on Wednesday, Osborne has been identified as a father of four, and is known by relatives as a "complex" and "troubled" individual.

The suspect's mother, 72-year-old Christine Osborne, insisted in an interview with The Sun that he is "not a terrorist and had never shown any hatred towards Muslims."

"I'm at my wit's end. I saw him on TV and recognized him straight away. I just screamed," she claimed.

"My son is no terrorist . He's just a man with problems and I don't know how to cope with all this."

The mother admitted that she can not defend his actions, however.

"I'm not going to defend him but you know he's my son and it's a terrible, terrible shock. It's not just robbing the bank, it's an atrocity. At this moment in time I can't cope with it," she said.

Osborne's sister, Nicola, further added that her brother was suicidal, and had tried to kill himself a few weeks ago by jumping into a river.

"He tried to kill himself six, eight weeks ago. He threw himself into the river in Cardiff," his sister told MailOnline.

"He asked to be taken into care, to be sectioned but they wouldn't do it. He was on anti-depressants. He came to see me after he tried to kill himself. He showed me the bump on his head. I don't know how he got out of the river, or really what happened."

Osborne, whose four children are aged between 16 and five, apparently separated from his partner in recent months, with neighbors stating that he would often be seen shouting at her down the street.

Others, such as 50-year-old taxi driver Saleem Naema, spoke of their shock at Osborne's actions.

"I can't believe it. I know him. I've lived here for five years, he was already living here when I moved in," Naema said.

"If I ever needed anything he would come. I just can't believe that he did that. I am a Muslim."

Follow Stoyan Zaimov on Facebook: CPSZaimov

Free CP Newsletters

Join over 250,000 others to get the top stories curated daily, plus special offers!


Most Popular

More In World