Paterson, New Jersey imam Sayed Elnakib stabbed; Serif Zorba arrested

Sayed Elnakib, 65, is an imam of the Omar Mosque in Paterson, Passaic County, New Jersey, United States. Serif Zorba, 32, is not a member of the mosque but he has worshipped with the faith leaders there in the past.

On the morning of April 9, 2023, a group of worshippers at the mosque positioned in five long rows. Among them were Zorba, who was wearing a hoodie, and Elnakib.


At around 5:30 a.m., Zorba moved from the third row to the front of the room as his fellow worshippers knelt down in prayers. He stepped over other worshippers before stabbing Elnakib while the imam was kneeling.

Congregants fought Zorba off and held the stabber until police officers arrived to the mosque. Why he stabbed the imam is still unknown.


Elnakib suffered two stab wounds to his back. He was hospitalized to be treated for non-fatal stab wounds and is expected to survive.

Zorba was arrested and charged with first-degree attempted murder, third-degree possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose and fourth-degree unlawful possession of a weapon. On April 10, 2023, he will appear in court to answer to the charges.

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