Aug 10, 2022

Suspect arrested in murders of Albuquerque Muslim men Transcript

Suspect arrested in murders of Albuquerque Muslim men Transcript
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Suspect arrested in murders of Albuquerque Muslim men. Read the transcript here.

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Speaker 1: (00:00)
Good evening. We begin tonight with what we know about the suspect connected to at least two of the four recent murders of Muslim men in Albuquerque.

Speaker 2: (00:07)
Police are still trying to determine if Muhammad Syed had anything to do with the others. News 13’s Ariana Kraft is live outside APD headquarters with what we know. Ariana?

Ariana Kraft: (00:20)
After a massive manhunt and national attention, 51-year-old Muhammad Syed was arrested in Santa Rosa. He was driving the Volkswagen Jetta that had been plastered all over the news. Police say they received hundreds of tips from the public in this case, which ultimately led to his capture.

Kyle Hartsock: (00:39)
What we can tell you is a tip from the community is what helped us lead us to this subject, and what helped us eventually find the car that we put out just two days ago to the public.

Ariana Kraft: (00:50)
Muhammad Syed is charged in two recent murders targeting Muslim men. Aftab Hussein was shot to death near his home on Rhode Island in Copper in July, and Muhammed Afzaal Hussain was shot and killed on Cornell near Garfield on August 1st. Police say they showed up to Syed’s home near Carlisle and Gibson on Monday when he drove past them in the Volkswagen Jetta that was identified as the suspect’s vehicle.

Kyle Hartsock: (01:15)
And we followed him. With the help of state police, we were able to stop that car near Santa Rosa, New Mexico. And at the same time, our SWAT team executed a search warrant safely.

Ariana Kraft: (01:25)
Police searched his home, finding guns they believe matched the ones used in those two murders. So why were these men targeted?

Kyle Hartsock: (01:36)
The motives are still being explored fully to understand what they are.

Ariana Kraft: (01:36)
But police do say evidence shows the suspect knew both victims and could have had some type of conflict with them. As the community continues to mourn the loss of these four Muslim men, the president of the Islamic Center of New Mexico thanked all agencies involved in making this arrest happen.

Ahmad Assed: (01:53)
I can’t express enough the gratitude that I have from my community, from the bottom of my heart. All the family members of the ones we lost, and we still mourn, we will not ever forget. And we’re hopeful that we have no further losses.

Ariana Kraft: (02:11)
And while two of the cases appear to be solved, the investigations into the murders of Naeem Hussain and Mohammad Zaheer Ahmadi are still ongoing.

Kyle Hartsock: (02:20)
We think there might be an involvement in two other homicide cases. Those are still considered open and active. But we’re working on more evidence testing and more interviews to continue to build that case with the prosecutor’s office.

Ariana Kraft: (02:31)
And APD Chief Harold Medina says there will continue to be a police presence in the Albuquerque Muslim community.

Speaker 6: (02:38)
The Albuquerque Police Department will continue to be visible in the Muslim community in the dates to come and throughout the weeks to ensure that they feel safe and that they have time to come back to a normal life and ensure that they feel safe.

Ariana Kraft: (02:56)
Muhammad Syed is from Afghanistan and came here six years ago. According to the latest criminal complaints, Syed told police he was driving to Houston last night to find a new home for his family in light of recent violence against Muslims in Albuquerque. He admitted to knowing Naeem Hussain since 2016, and he recognized Aftab Hussein from parties in the community, but denied any involvement in the murders. Back to you.

Speaker 2: (03:23)
All right. Thank you, Ariana. CARE, a civil rights group for American Muslims, and the president of the Islamic Center of New Mexico, have said investigators told them Syed is a Sunni Muslim, and this could be sectarian violence directed towards Shiites. The New York Times also reported that Syed was angry his daughter married a Shiite.

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