Authorities looked for clues Monday right into a attainable hyperlink between the ambush-style killings of 4 Muslim New Mexico males over a nine-month interval.
Albuquerque murder detectives suspect there might be a connection between the taking pictures of a person Friday night time and two different males killed over the previous week in separate incidents. The 2 males, each from Pakistan, attended the identical mosque, based on authorities.
Investigators suppose the identical individual could have dedicated the crimes, mentioned Kyle Hartsock, deputy commander of Albuquerque Police Division’s Prison Investigations Division.
“Whereas we gained’t go into why we predict that, there’s one robust commonality in all of our victims: their race and faith,” Hartsock mentioned in a press release.
The slayings have left many on edge.
“This has simply rocked our group,” Mariam Alabdali, a consultant from the Lighthouse of New Mexico Muslim Neighborhood Middle in Albuquerque, informed USA TODAY.
The FBI joined the investigation into whether or not the three killings might be tied to the slaying of one other Muslim man in November.
A Volkswagen Jetta might be the clue investigators have to hyperlink the slayings. They search the general public’s assist in monitoring it down.
Right here’s what we all know:
Who had been the victims?
Mohammad Ahmadi, a Muslim man from Afghanistan, was killed Nov. 7 exterior the Albuquerque enterprise he and his brother ran, authorities mentioned. Police discovered Ahmadi, 62, shot to loss of life within the constructing’s rear parking zone.
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Aftab Hussein, 41, and Muhammed Afzaal Hussain, 27, from Pakistan had been slain in southeast Albuquerque. Hussein was killed July 26, and Hussain on Aug. 1. Investigators mentioned they’ve decided a hyperlink between the killings.
The fourth sufferer, Naeem Hussain, was fatally shot earlier than midnight Aug. 5, based on investigators. Hussain, 25, was additionally from Pakistan.
How are authorities responding to the crimes?
The Albuquerque Police Division launched an internet portal for members of the general public to submit pictures or movies that would assist detectives examine the 4 Muslim killings.
Authorities search the general public’s assist finding a automobile that might be linked to the slayings.
Police launched pictures of a darkish automobile with tinted home windows that seems to be a Volkswagen Jetta. It’s not clear the place the pictures had been taken or why investigators suspect it was concerned within the crimes.
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Crime Stoppers affords a $20,000 reward, and the Council on American-Islamic Relations will reward $10,000 for data that results in an arrest, based on the town of Albuquerque.
New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham mentioned further state police will patrol Albuquerque in mild of the slayings.
Reactions to the Albuquerque killings
An “angered” and “saddened” President Joe Biden mentioned his prayers are with the victims’ households.
“My administration stands strongly with the Muslim group,” Biden tweeted Sunday. “These hateful assaults haven’t any place in America.”
Lujan Grisham known as the focused killings “deeply angering and wholly insupportable.”
Muslims dwelling in a group they’d as soon as often called a protected house query why these killings are taking place.
Alabdali mentioned the slayings led to arduous conversations about what she and her husband would do if a shooter entered their mosque.
“(It was a) dialogue we by no means thought we’d have, however with the circumstances, we wanted to,” Alabdali mentioned. If it ever occurred, her husband informed her, she ought to run and never look again – not even for him.
“That was very upsetting,” she mentioned.
The Lighthouse of New Mexico is ramping up safety measures, including a doorbell so guests could be seen earlier than being allowed inside, and opening the mosque just for Friday prayer in the meanwhile.
“It’s very unhappy that you do not really feel protected within the place the place you are purported to worship,” Alabdali mentioned.
Contributing: The Related Press