Police say 'Muslim-Hispanic feud' the motive in killing of NY imam
The murder of a Muslim imam and his friend in broad daylight was the result of a "Muslim-Hispanic feud," say police who have arrested a suspect in the case.
The killer who crept up behind an imam and his friend near a Queens mosque and shot both men in the head may have been settling a score in a feud between Muslims and Hispanics, police sources said early Monday.
And he may have left behind another victim who unwittingly held the clue that solved the crime, the sources said.
The suspected killer was taken into custody Sunday night but had not been charged or identified, according to the sources. Police officials would not confirm whether a suspect was nabbed.
Video of the horrific Saturday afternoon murders of mosque leader Maulama Akonjee, 55, and Thara Uddin, 65, at Liberty Ave. and 79th St. in Ozone Park showed the brazen crime to be a planned execution.
But the killer may have gotten sloppy in his haste after pulling the trigger and hit a bicyclist with his car, sources said.
The cyclist took down the car's license plate number and gave it to police, who began tracking down their man.
Members of an NYPD Regional Fugitive Task Force were conducting what turned out to be a “brief surveillance” of the suspect in Queens when he rammed an unmarked cop car, sources said. That's when officers nabbed him.
Investigators were questioning him early Monday and were waiting for a warrant to check his home.
Many on the left were spouting the theory that the shooter was an evangelical Christian who wanted to kill Muslims. There was even an attempt to blame Donald Trump for the murder.
Instead, liberals are now faced with a tough choice: which "oppressed" group do they blame? It's possible a Hispanic killed the Muslim over religion, although that seems a remote possibility. More likely, neighborhood tensions are to blame for the crime.