The son of the man suspected of murdering four Muslim men in New Mexico may be linked to some of the shootings, authorities said.
Shaheen Syed, 21, was remanded in custody on Tuesday for a possible connection to the string of murders, according to federal court documents obtained by Metro.co.uk.
Shaheen is the son of Muhammad Syed, who federal authorities believe targeted four Muslim men in Albuquerque in “ambush attacks.” Muhammad was charged with two of the murders on Wednesday, and police identified him as the prime suspect in the other two.
Police have not confirmed whether the murders will be classified as hate crimes, serial killings or both.
Federal prosecutors on Monday filed a motion to keep Shaheen in custody pending the investigation, as they believe Shaheen may have been involved in the Aug. 1 shooting of Muhammad Aftaal Hussain.
According to a ballistics report, two weapons fired a total of 15 rounds at Aftaal Hussain – a rifle and a pistol. The drive-by shooting was over in about 20 seconds.
Aftaal Hussain’s brother, Imtiaz Hussain, also believed that several people were involved in the shooting.
“For a suspect to use two weapons in such short intervals is difficult,” Imtiaz said.
When police searched Muhammad Syed’s house in Albuquerque, they found two AK-47 rifles and a pistol.
When they searched Muhammad Syed’s Volkswagen Jetta, they found a fourth gun – a 9mm pistol – and several grenades. One holster was from the handgun, and two more went with the rifles and pistol.
Prosecutors also linked Shaheen to the August 5 killing of Naeem Hussain.
Cell tower data analyzed by police shows that Shaheen and his father were both in the “same general area” of the killing of victim Naeem.
“Telephone conversations between Muhammad Atif Syed and the defendant (Shaheen Syed) will be consistent with rapid surveillance conversations, both before and after the shooting,” prosecutors said.
Shaheen’s defense lawyer John Anderson said the allegations against his client were “extremely thin and speculative”.
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