Detectives have arrested a man whom they consider a prime suspect in the murders of at least two Muslim men in Albuquerque, N.M. in what allegedly might be sectarian violence.
Local cops and FBI agents arrested the suspect, who is reportedly an immigrant from Afghanistan, as he was driving away in a Volkswagen Jetta that had previously been identified as allegedly connected to one of the crimes.
Cops had reportedly arrived at his residence to execute a search warrant and the suspect, who now faces murder charges, was subsequently detained in a traffic stop in the city of Santa Rosa.
“On Tuesday, the police said they had arrested a man who was himself Muslim and who may have targeted at least two of the victims because he was angry that his daughter had married a man from the other major branch of Islam. The police said the man, Muhammad Syed, 51, would be charged in two of the killings and that he was a suspect in the other two deaths,” the New York Times reported.
According to Albuquerque PD, Syed faces charges in homicides that occurred on July 26 and August 1, based on bullet casings discovered at the scene of the crimes and a gun found at the residence. Syed has reportedly denied any involvement in the killings.
APD detectives and FBI agents arrested Muhammad Syed, 51, who they consider to be the primary suspect in the recent murders of Muslim men in Albuquerque. pic.twitter.com/yD4I0L5JtP
— APD Public Information Officer (@APD_PIO) August 9, 2022
The shootings understandably had “spread fear among the city’s Muslim residents,” the Times noted.
President Biden felt compelled to comment on the deaths earlier in the week, suggesting that the murders were hate crimes.
“I am angered and saddened by the horrific killings of four Muslim men in Albuquerque,” Biden said in a statement. “While we await a full investigation, my prayers are with the victims’ families, and my Administration stands strongly with the Muslim community. These hateful attacks have no place in America.”
I am angered and saddened by the horrific killings of four Muslim men in Albuquerque. While we await a full investigation, my prayers are with the victims’ families, and my Administration stands strongly with the Muslim community.
These hateful attacks have no place in America.
— President Biden (@POTUS) August 7, 2022
Some now await a follow up from the president now that a fellow Muslim has been arrested in the deaths of at least two of the four men.
Looking forward to a follow up tweet from Joe Biden now that the killer has been identified as a Sunni Muslim who killed four people because was allegedly angry that his daughter married into a Shiite family. https://t.co/umivU2T5jo
— Greg Price (@greg_price11) August 10, 2022
Albuquerque PD Deputy Commander Kyle Hartsock explained that “police were continuing to run tests on other firearms they had recovered and believed Mr. Syed may have also been involved in two additional killings, one in November 2021 and the truck driver on Friday.”
The investigation is ongoing in the case that made national headlines.
“It is suspected that Syed is a Sunni Muslim, and had been targeting Shiite Muslims in a kind of interpersonal conflict,” Newsweek claimed.
Ahmad Assed, the president of the Islamic Center of New Mexico, a mosque where three of the victims worshipped, publicly thanked all the law enforcement agencies who participated in the investigation that culminated in the arrest.
Police chief Harold Medina expressed the hope that the arrest would bring a “sense of safety back to the Muslim community.”
“Syed has had a number of domestic violence and other misdemeanor charges in the five to six years that he has lived in Albuquerque, police said on Tuesday. The tip that led to Syed’s arrest came from the Muslim community after pictures of the car were released to the public on Sunday, police said,” Fox News reported.
Albuquerque, which also happens to be a sanctuary city, is already in the grip of a violent crime wave. So far this year, cops have investigated 68 homicide cases there.
Watch a report on the suspect’s arrest aired by KRQE Albuquerque:
All suspects are presumed innocent until or unless they are convicted in a court of law of any alleged crimes.
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