Police: Motive in US Imam’s slaying still a mystery

Oscar Morel appears in a Queens courtroom in New York, Tuesday, Aug. 16, 2016 charged with two counts of second-degree murder and two counts of criminal possession of a weapon in the Saturday afternoon slayings of Imam Maulana Alauddin Akonjee and Thara (AP)

New York police say the motive in the ambush slaying of an imam and his friend is still a mystery.

Chief of Detectives Robert Boyce told reporters Wednesday that an analysis of the mobile phone and social media accounts of alleged gunman Oscar Morel for clues of a motive has so far come up empty.

Boyce said that family and friends of Morel also have told police they are baffled by the allegations against Morel.

Imam Maulana Alauddin Akonjee and Thara Uddin were gunned down Saturday after leaving a mosque in Queens. Some people in a largely Bangladeshi Muslim community there said they believe the slayings were a hate crime.

Through his lawyer, the 35-year-old Morel has denied the murder charges against him. He’s being held without bail.

Last Update: Wednesday, 20 May 2020 KSA 09:47 - GMT 06:47