Attack with a knife on a New Jersey imam during Fajr prayers leads to suspect arrest

Chicago: A suspect who joined about 200 worshippers for Fajr prayers attacked the imam of a New Jersey mosque with a knife early on Sunday morning, seriously injuring him.

Prosecutors in Paterson, New Jersey claimed that the 65-year-old Imam Sayed Elnakib of the Omar mosque, located at 501 Getty Avenue, was attacked by a suspect who had knelt with other worshippers during the mosque's prayers. Imam Elnakib was treated for "non-fatal" injuries and transported right away to Saint Joseph's University Medical Center in Paterson.

According to the prosecutor's office, the suspect was quickly restrained at the mosque. Serif Zorba, 32, was named as the man. Zorba had frequented the mosque, according to worshippers, but he was not a member.

Also Read: Sikh extremist attacks: India 'halts' trade talks with UK

Around 5:37 a.m., as Imam Elnakib was presiding over the prayers, Zorba charged at him. Zorba repeatedly stabbed Imam Elnakib before turning to flee and running through worshippers, who, according to police, immediately subdued and held him until they arrived.

According to Passaic County Prosecutor Camelia M. Valdes, "Upon arrival, police officers encountered a 32-year-old suspect inside of the mosque who was subdued by congregants."

Mr. Zorba is accused of attempted first-degree murder, unlawful third-degree weapon possession, and unlawful fourth-degree weapon possession.]

According to Valdes, Zorba could spend up to 20 years in prison if found guilty. According to the "no early release act," Serif Zorba will receive a sentence of 10 to 20 years in a New Jersey state prison, with 85 percent of the term to be served before parole eligibility. He will also receive five years of parole supervision after his release.

Also Read: The ROG Phone 7 series will be unveiled by ASUS on April 13

According to the prosecutor's office, the charges for unlawful possession of a weapon could result in an additional six years being added to the sentence.

On Monday afternoon, Zorba appeared at Central Judicial Processing Court in Paterson, where the charges were formally brought and "pretrial detention," preventing the suspect's release on bail, was authorised.

The judge of the New Jersey superior court presided over the hearing. Married and the father of three boys, Imam Elnakib. He is anticipated to fully recover, according to the police. According to city officials, Muslim and Arab American Mayor of Paterson Andre Sayegh paid a visit to Imam Elnakib on Monday morning at the hospital.

At a press conference, Sayegh promised to send more police to all the mosques in the area to ensure everyone's safety during the remaining days of Ramadan.

Sayegh said, "You shouldn't be afraid to pray; you should feel safe to pray." Al Abdel-aziz, a councilman from Paterson, joined worshippers at the mosque on Sunday night to offer prayers for the imam's wellbeing and complete recovery.

Councilman Abdel-aziz posted on his Facebook page, "I was deeply saddened to hear about the stabbing incident that took place during prayer at Omar's mosque earlier this morning, and my heart goes out to everyone affected by this tragic event."

"Violence of any kind, especially in a sacred space, has no justification, despite the fact that it is unclear what the attacker's motives were.

I'm glad to hear that Imam Sayed Elnakib's condition is stable and send him my best wishes for a full and quick recovery. Please know that during this trying time, my thoughts and prayers are with him and his family.

Also Read: Twitter now refers to NPR and the BBC as "government-funded" following backlash

"As a community, it is crucial that we come together to support one another and denounce all forms of hate and violence," said Councilman Al-Abdel-aziz. I urge everyone to seek solace and support from one another and to work to make your mosque a secure and friendly place for everyone who enters.

According to officials, nearly a third of Paterson, New Jersey's 158,000 residents identify as Muslim or Arab.

- Sponsored Advert -

Most Popular

- Sponsored Advert -
Join NewsTrack Whatsapp group