Afghan Immigrant Suspected of Killing Four Men Over Islamic Religious Dispute


A Sunni Muslim immigrant from Afghanistan has been charged in the killings of two Shiite Muslim immigrants and is accused of killing two more Muslim immigrants — thought to be motivated by an Islamic religious dispute.

Muhammad Syed, a 51-year-old Sunni Muslim immigrant from Afghanistan, had been living in Albuquerque, New Mexico for roughly five years before the killings. It is unclear how Syed arrived in the United States but he told investigators he helped U.S. Armed Forces in Afghanistan, suggesting he may have arrived on a Special Immigrant Visa (SIV).

Police have found that Syed was motivated at least in part by an “interpersonal conflict,” thought to be related to his daughter’s marriage to a Shiite Muslim.

“Motives are still being explored fully to understand what they are,” Albuquerque Police Department Deputy Police Commander Kyle Hartsock told the Washington Post.

President Joe Biden had commented on the case before Syed’s arrest:

According to police, bullet casings were found at Syed’s home that links him to the scenes of 27-year-0ld Muhammad Afzaal Hussain and 41-year-old Aftab Hussein’s murders. Police recovered a number of firearms at his home and in his car.

Three of the four victims all attended the Islamic Center of New Mexico, a Shiite Mosque.

President of the Mosque Ahmad Assed said that he was aware that the religious dispute might have been a motivating factor in the killings but noted that one of the four victims was a Sunni Muslim. 

Syed previously faced multiple domestic violence charges that were ultimately dismissed.

In 2017, Syed, his wife, and one of his sons were accused of punching and kicking his daughter’s boyfriend at the time — leaving him with a bloody nose as well as bruises and scratches on his body. The boyfriend said the family attacked him because they did not want Syed’s daughter dating him.

Then, in 2018, Syed allegedly got into a physical fight with his wife but the case was dismissed because she refused to press charges. Syed was arrested in 2020 for failing to pull over for police after running a red light.

More charges against Syed are forthcoming, according to local and state prosecutors.

Spencer Lindquist is a reporter for Breitbart News. Follow him on Twitter @SpencerLndqst and reach out at 

John Binder is a reporter for Breitbart News. Email him at Follow him on Twitter here


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