Albuquerque police investigate the murders of 4 Muslim men as possibly connected

Albuquerque police investigate the murders of 4 Muslim men as possibly connected

Police in Albuquerque, New Mexico, are working to determine if the murders of four Muslim men over the past nine months, the latest of which occurred Friday night, are connected.

In a Saturday evening briefing with local and federal officials, Albuquerque Police Chief Harold Medina revealed that “a young man who is part of the Muslim community” was murdered.

The name of the victim and the circumstances of the crime were not immediately available. However, Medina said the killing is believed to be related to the previous three, all of which were described as ambush-style shootings.

“As with the previous three murders we mentioned Thursday, there is reason to believe this death is related to those shootings,” Medina said.

According to the Albuquerque Journal, 27-year-old Muhammed Afzaal Hussain was killed on August 1, and 41-year-old Aftab Hussein was killed on July 26. Both were from Pakistan and members of the same mosque.

These came after the killing of Mohammad Ahmadi, 62, a Muslim man of South Asian origin in November 2021. Ahmadi was killed behind a market and cafe he owned with his brother.

Authorities on Saturday did not release any suspect information, and would not confirm whether the murders were believed to be hate crimes.

“At this point, we don’t know that,” Albuquerque police spokesman Gilbert Gallego told reporters.

The New Mexico State Police, the FBI and the US Marshals Service are among several agencies involved in investigating the killings. Medina said overtime caps for officers have been eliminated to allow the department to increase its patrols.

“I want to assure those members of the Muslim community that we are committed resources, but we also want them to stay alert, watch out for each other,” said Medina.

The governor, Albuquerque’s mayor and civil rights groups have raised concerns, saying violence against members of the public based on race or religion will not be tolerated.

“There is certainly a need for the public to understand the egregiousness of the behavior displayed in all three of these shootings,” Ahmad Assed, president of the Islamic Center of New Mexico, said at a news conference on Thursday. “If it is true that we as Muslims have been targeted, then they must be very careful to protect themselves and take precautionary measures. They must watch out for their surroundings.”

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