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Afghan man charged with killing two Muslims in Albuquerque

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Associated Press

Associated Press

Stefanie Dazio and Mariam Pham

Altaf Hussain cries over the grave of his brother, Aftab Hussein, at Fairview Memorial Park in Albuquerque, N.M., on Friday, Aug. 5, 2022.
Altaf Hussain cries Grave of his brother Aftab Hussein at Fairview Memorial Park in Albuquerque, New Mexico, Friday, August 5, 2022.

Police on Tuesday announced the landmark murder of four of his Muslim men in Albuquerque, New Mexico, a man from Afghanistan. A man — himself a Muslim — has been charged and identified for his two murders. He's the prime suspect in other murders that have put entire communities at risk.

51-year-old Muhammad Saeed was detained the day before after traffic stopped more than 100 miles away, officials said.

Three of the four ambushes have occurred in the last two weeks. Police Chief Harold Medina said it was not yet clear whether the deaths should be classified as hate crimes or serial murders, or both. has received information pointing to Said, who has lived in the United States for about five years, police said.

Police were investigating possible motives, including "interpersonal confrontation," which was not specified.

When asked specifically if Saeed, a Sunni Muslim, was upset that his daughter married a Shia Muslim, the deputy police commander. Kyle Hartsock did not respond directly. He said, "The motives are still being fully explored to understand what the motives are."

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Ahmad Acedo, president of the Islamic Center in New Mexico, admitted that "there was a marriage," but declined to draw any conclusions about the suspect's motives for calling attention, saying that the suspect was not a member of the Center. He said he had attended the mosque "sometimes".

"It is an incredible sigh of relief to know where we have been from days ago to today," he said. "Life was turned upside down."

The exact nature of the relationship between Sayid and the victims and between the victims remained unknown. But police said they were still investigating how they crossed the street before the shooting.

The killing drew the attention of President Joe Biden, who said such attacks "have no place in America." They also sent shudders to Muslim communities across the United States. Some questioned their safety and restricted their movements.


We have located a vehicle believed to be involved in the recent murder of a Muslim man in Albuquerque. The driver has been taken into custody and is the prime suspect in the murder. I will update the media this afternoon.

— APD Police Chief (@ABQPoliceChief) Aug 9, 2022

When told about the arrest before the suspect's identity was made public, the victim One of the victims, Muhammad Afzar Hussein, said he was relieved but needed to know more about the perpetrators and their motives.

"This gives us hope that the truth will come out," he said. "We need to know why."

It was not immediately clear whether Syed had a lawyer who could speak on his behalf.

Naeem Hussain, a 25-year-old man from Pakistan, was murdered on Friday night. His death came days after Muhammad Afzar Hussein, 27, and Aftab Hussein, 41, who were also from Pakistan and were members of the same mosque.

The earliest case was the November killing of Mohammad Ahmadi, 62, from Afghanistan.

At present, Said said that the bullet casing found at the crime scene was related to the gun found at his home, Aftab Hussein and Muhammad He said that Afzar Hussein have been charged with the murder of, officials said.

Investigators believe Syed is the prime suspect in the deaths of Naeem Hussein and Ahmadi, but have not yet filed charges in those cases. said they saw him driving away in a Volkswagen Jetta while attempting to search Said's Albuquerque home on Monday.

Officers followed him to Santa Rosa, about 110 miles east of Albuquerque, where they held him. Multiple firearms were recovered from his home and car, police said.

Said's sons were interrogated and released, according to authorities.

Prosecutors plan to file murder charges in state court and are considering adding a federal lawsuit, officials said.

Shiites are his second largest branch of Islam, after Sunnis.

Anila Abad, general secretary of the Islamic Center, said his two Muslim communities in New He Mexico enjoy a warm bond.

"Our Shia community has always stood by us. We Sunnis have always stood by them," she said.

Muhammad al-Hussein worked as his organizer on the field of Democratic Rep. Melanie Stansbury's campaign.

"Muhammad was kind, hopeful and optimistic," she said, describing him as an urban planner. For our community and our world. ———

Dazio received a report from Los Angeles and Pham from Winter Park, Florida. LA-based AP writer Robert Jablon also contributed to this report.

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