Muhammad Syed, 51, of Albuquerque, New Mexico, United States was born in Afghanistan. A Sunni Muslim, he is allegedly angry over his daughter marrying a Shiite Muslim.
Syed has lived in New Mexico the last several years. In recent years, he has been arrested and charged with domestic violence three times but all charges were eventually dropped.
From time to time, Syed attended the mosque of the Islamic Center of New Mexico in Albuquerque. The center’s president Ahmad Assed told Associated Press that “there was a marriage” but he cautioned against coming to any conclusions about the motivation of the Afghan man accused of killing four Muslim men.
On November 7, 2021, Mohammad Zaher Ahmadi, 62, of Afghanistan was fatally shot outside a market and café he operated with his brother in Albuquerque. On July 26, 2022, Aftab Hussein, 41, was fatally shot outside his apartment in Albuquerque.
On August 1, 2022, Muhammad Afzaal Hussain, 27, was fatally shot outside his apartment just blocks from the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque. He was attending the university’s graduate school.
On August 5, 2022, Naeem Hussain, 25, attended a funeral service for Hussein and Afzaal. Hours later, Naeem was fatally shot.
Hussein, Afzaal and Naeem were all from Pakistan. They were members of the Islamic Center of New Mexico’s mosque.
Detectives from the Albuquerque Police Department connected the four murders to a single shooter. They connected the two cases using bullet casings found at the scenes where Hussein and Afzaal were fatally shot.
A tip from the public led the detectives to Syed. The Afghan man fled in a Volkswagen Jetta when they went to search his home in Albuquerque.
On August 9, 2022, the Albuquerque Police Department announced that Syed was arrested near Santa Rosa, New Mexico. He was charged with murdering Aftab and Hussain.
Detectives found multiple firearms in his house. His possible involvement in the murders of Naeem and Ahmadi is still being investigated.