Four Muslim men were killed in Albuquerque. Here’s what we know about them


After ambush-style shootings of three Muslim men and the recent murder of a fourth in Albuquerque, New Mexico, the city’s Muslim community is nervous and fearful.

A beloved city worker who yearned for a political future and a proud new American citizen are among the victims of a string of shootings, police say they may be linked.

The murders of Mohammad Ahmadi, Muhammad Afzaal Hussain, Aftab Hussein and Naeem Hussain, however, have one clear commonality: they were all South Asian Muslims, according to Albuquerque police.

The three most recent murders happened in the space of two weeks, with local and national Muslim groups warning residents to remain vigilant. They also brought to light an unsolved homicide from November 2021.

Here’s what we know about the lives lost. CNN will continue to update this story with more details as we learn them:

Mohammad Ahmadi.

Mohammad Ahmadi was shot and killed outside a business he and his brother ran together in November 2021, according to a CNN affiliate KOAT.

Ahmadi was from Afghanistan, police said.

Muhammad Afzaal Hussain.

Muhammad Imtiaz Hussain had lived with his brother, Muhammad Afzaal Hussain, in the same apartment complex for almost five years and had never had any problems.

The brothers came to the United States on student visas, studying at the University of New Mexico, and they often walked early in the morning or late at night in the university library without any fear for their safety – until now.

Afzaal Hussain was shot, killed and found on a sidewalk on August 1 with his face deformed from gunshot wounds, Imtiaz Hussain said.

“It’s not a random murder,” said Imtiaz Hussain, who must have witnessed his brother’s injuries himself. “It’s extremely motivated and extreme hatred.”

Afzaal Hussain was beloved by all and an enthusiastic student leader for a future in politics once he was granted US citizenship.

“We are in extreme fear,” said Imtiaz Hussain. “Living in this place is very painful.”

Hussain served on the planning team for the city of Española. He had studied law and human resource management at the University of the Punjab in Pakistan before obtaining a master’s and bachelor’s degree in community and regional planning from the University of New Mexico, according to a press release from the mayor of Pakistan. ‘Spanish, John Ramon Vigil.

“Muhammad was sweet and kind, and quick to laugh,” Vigil said in a press release last Wednesday. “He was highly respected and appreciated by his colleagues and members of the community.”

Naeem Hussain.

Naeem Hussain, 25, had been a US citizen for less than a month when he became the latest gunshot victim found by Albuquerque police officers just before midnight Friday.

His brother-in-law Ehsan Shahalami identified Hussian on CNN on Sunday and said he emigrated as a refugee from Pakistan in 2016 – fleeing persecution as a Shia Muslim.

“He had a lot of dreams and he made some of them come true,” Shahalami said. “His others were interrupted by this heinous act.”

Hours before his own death, Hussain attended the funerals of two of the recent victims and expressed concern about the shooting, said Tahir Gauba, spokesman for the Islamic Center of New Mexico.

Hussain worked as a truck driver for several years in Albuquerque, a job he was extremely proud of, according to Shahalami.

“He wasn’t even a citizen at the time, but he was like, ‘This is our country, these people need us more than any other time’, so he made extra shifts to push forward. things,” Shahalami said.

After becoming a US citizen, Hussain opened his own trucking business, intended to bring his wife over from Pakistan and was interested in buying property in Virginia, according to Shahalami.

“He was the most generous, kind, generous, patient, down-to-earth person I’ve ever met,” he said. “He worked very hard.”

Hussain wasn’t just working to support himself – he would share his earnings with his family back home, Shahalami said.

After the funeral on Friday, Gauba said, Hussain attended a lunch at the mosque and approached him to ask if he had more information about the shooting.

“We (the Islamic Center of New Mexico) thought that after the burial of these two young men (Friday) we would have the closure and move on and let law enforcement investigate,” said Gaubah. “Waking up on Saturday morning after his (Naeem Hussain) death, the whole community feels helpless. There is a lot of fear.”

About 700 to 800 Muslims attend the Islamic Center of New Mexico, the largest mosque in Albuquerque founded in the mid-1970s, on Fridays, according to Gauba.

Aftab Hussein.

Aftab Hussein was a Muslim from Pakistan, police said.

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