WASHINGTON: Police in the US state of New Mexico said Saturday they are investigating the murders of three Muslim men that they suspect are related to a fourth homicide from last year.
The Albuquerque police department said in a statement they had found the latest victim overnight Friday.
They did not identify him but said he was in his mid-20s, Muslim and “a native from South Asia.”
“Investigators believe Friday’s murder may be connected to three recent murders of Muslim men also from South Asia,” the statement said.
Two of the previous victims were Muslim Pakistani men, a 27-year-old whose body was found on August 1 and a 41-year-old who was found on July 26.
Detectives are now investigating whether these murders are connected to the death of a Muslim man from Afghanistan who was killed on November 7, 2021, outside of the business he ran with his brother in Albuquerque, the statement said.
The police urged anyone with information to call a tip line and said the FBI was assisting with the investigation.
New Mexico Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham expressed outrage at the attacks and solidarity with the southwestern state’s Muslim community.
“The targeted killings of Muslim residents of Albuquerque is deeply angering and wholly intolerable,” Lujan Grisham said on Twitter.
She said she was sending additional state police officers to Albuquerque to help with the investigation.
“We will continue to do everything we can to support to the Muslim community of Albuquerque and greater New Mexico,” she said.
The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the largest US Muslim civil rights group, said Saturday it would offer a $10,000 reward to whoever provides information leading to the killer’s arrest.
“This tragedy is impacting not only the Muslim community – but all Americans,” CAIR national executive director Nihad Awad said in a statement.
“We must be united against hate and violence regardless of the race, faith or background of the victims or the perpetrators.”