June 5, 2023

New Mexico police are investigating the killings of four men in recent months who have reportedly been “highly likely” to be targeted because of their Muslim or South Asian backgrounds.

death occurred in Fast inheritance.

On July 26, Aftab Hussein, 41, was a cafe worker and member of the Greater Afghanistan Community of Albuquerque. found dead On July 26, from a gunshot wound near the city’s international district.

Two weeks later, Muhammad Afzaal Hussain, 27, came to the United States from Pakistan to serve as planning director for the city of Espanola. found dead Gunshot wound from Albuquerque.

Then, on Friday, Naeem Hussain was shot In the parking lot of an NGO serving refugees and asylum seekers in Albuquerque, according to the Islamic Center of New Mexico.

Mr. Hussein, who is from Afghanistan and Pakistan, had no apparent relationship with Mohammad Hussein, who attended the funerals of two other victims on the day of the killing.

“Right now, people are panicking,” Tahir Gauba, director of public affairs at the Islamic Center of New Mexico, told Reuters albuquerque magazine. “I mean, especially after the funeral, the same day, that happened again. So it was really crazy.”

Police believe the killing may be linked to the death of Mohammad Ahmadi, 62, who was shot with his brother behind a halal market in November

“All of our victims have one strong thing in common — their race and religion,” Albuquerque Police Deputy Commander Kyle Hassock said at a news conference this week, according to Reuters.

Council on American-Islamic Relations is reported to provide $10,000 reward to anyone who provides information leading to the arrest of those involved in the killing.Albuquerque police offering $15,000 reward NPR.

Officials called on community members of different backgrounds to work together to stop the killings.

“This has implications for all of us,” Bernalillo County District Attorney Raul Torres said at a news conference Saturday. “Every member of this community has to stand up.”

The city’s Office of Equality and Inclusion provided information on the killing Saturday in Arabic, Farsi, Dari and Urdu and asked the community to help catch the killer.

“We urge our entire Albuquerque interfaith community and all the people of Albuquerque to help law enforcement identify and capture those responsible,” Michelle Melendez, director of the office, said at the briefing. “Please, please, call if you have any information.”

Local leaders condemned the violence. Ahmed Assad, President of the Islamic Center of New Mexico, Tell New York Times“We are so disgusted by the idea that someone is so hateful towards innocents. We are scared for our families, we are scared for our children. We are so confused as to why this is happening.”

New Mexico Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham tweeted Saturday that the murder was “deeply outrageous and totally intolerable” and pledged to “do everything we can to support Al during this difficult time.” Muslim Communities in Burkeke and Greater New Mexico”.

“You are New Mexicans, welcome here, and we stand with you,” she added.

Local police as well as the FBI; the New Mexico State Police Department; the Bernalillo County Sheriff’s Office; the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives; and the U.S. Marshals Service are assisting in the investigation.

“In addition to investigating this murder, we are devoting resources to key patrol areas and communities in Albuquerque,” said APD Director Harold Medina Say Saturday. “We’ve removed overtime caps for officers so we can use several of our specialized units to help ensure a strong presence of Albuquerque officers to keep the community safe.”

According to the latest federal data, there are 55 hate crime incidents reported In 2020, from 50 in 2019, incidents disproportionately targeted African Americans.

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