Albuquerque: Son of Suspect in Murder of 2 Muslim Men Sentenced to Remain in Custody on Federal Misrepresentation Charge

Shaheen Syed, son of Muhammad Syed, faces a federal charge of knowingly making false statements to investigators about the weapons and vehicle allegedly used in at least two of the murders.

At a detention hearing on Monday, Judge John Robbenhaar determined there was enough evidence to keep Syed in custody, according to Scott Howell, a spokesman for the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

Syed’s attorney, John C. Anderson, called the allegations that his client could be linked to the murders “extremely thin and speculative.”

The murders took place between November 2021 and August this year, with the last three taking place in the space of two weeks. Mohammad Ahmadi was the first victim in November 2021, then Aftab Hussein on July 26, Muhammad Afzaal Hussain on August 1 and the death of Naeem Hussain on August 5. All of the victims were of South Asian descent.

The elder Syed is being held on felony charges for two murders and is the prime suspect in the other two deaths. Muhammad Syed denied any involvement in the killings in a police interview, according to an affidavit of arrest.

In a detention motion filed on Friday, prosecutors explained how Shaheen Syed – also known as Maiwand Syed – was “a flight risk and a serious danger to the community”. The petition cited allegedly false information Syed told investigators when questioned about the shootings, whether he had purchased firearms with his father and whether he was in the suspect vehicle during the purchase. of said weapons.

Although he initially claimed he was not in a Volkswagen Jetta at the time of purchase, investigators found that Syed and his father drove to a gun store in Albuquerque on July 15 and picked up two firearms – a pistol and a rifle, according to the request. “Officers found these two firearms when a search warrant was recently executed at the home of the accused, and both of these firearms had been partially painted white,” the motion states.

Additionally, investigators found that Syed knowingly wrote down a false address in Florida when purchasing a gun on June 9, 2021, according to the motion.

Investigators also analyzed cell tower data and found that the phones of Syed and his father were in the general area of ​​Naeem Hussain’s August 5 murder. “There appears to be no logical reason why the defendant should have been near the murder scene so soon after Mr. Hussain’s murder,” the motion reads.

Anderson, Syed’s attorney, said in a written response, “If the United States or the State of New Mexico has sufficient evidence to charge the defendant with a more serious crime, he is certainly free to but in the absence of sufficient evidence even to charge the defendant with having participated in these murders, he cannot be detained on this basis.”

A court hearing for Syed’s father, Muhammad Syed, was adjourned to Wednesday as the case was moved from Bernalillo County Metro Court to District Court.

Muhammad Syed is expected to appear for a detention hearing on Wednesday afternoon. He was charged with murder for the murder of Aftab Hussein on July 26 and the murder of Muhammad Afzaal Hussain on August 1.

CNN’s Ashley Killough and Ed Lavandera contributed to this report.

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