Wednesday, 18 October, 2017

Egyptian Foreign Ministry follows investigation in death of Egyptian-American girl

Lance Thomas | 22 June, 2017, 06:00

The girl's body was found in a pond in Loudoun County, Virginia, hours later.

People placed flowers and lit candles there Tuesday evening to commemorate Nabra Hassanen, 17, who was beaten to death with a baseball bat early Sunday as she walked to a mosque near her home in a Virginia suburb of the nation's capital. According to her autopsy, Hassanen suffered from blunt force trauma to the upper body, police said.

Police say they are not investigating Nabra's death as a hate crime; however, Fairfax County Commonwealth's Attorney Raymond Morrogh has said he will continue to weigh the possibility before deciding how to proceed with the case.

Nabra Hassanen of Fairfax, Va. was only 17 years old when she was murdered in a road rage incident on Sunday. Moments later, he attacked the group with a baseball bat, police said.

Police have charged 22-year-old Darwin Martinez Torres, a Salvadoran national, with murder in the case.

"She didn't deserve to die", said Laura Fuents of Sterling, who held a lit candle as she stood on the sidewalk outside of the mosque.

A funeral was planned for Wednesday afternoon at the All Dulles Area Muslim Society Center, where Hassanen and her friends had been prior to the attack.

"It's really shaken up the entire American Muslim community", says Iftikhar, the author of "Scapegoats: How Islamophobia Helps Our Enemies and Threatens Our Freedoms".

Hunessa Fariad, an ADAMS Center official, said if there is even the smallest chance there was hate-based motivation behind the crime, the community wants the charges to be considered.

Torres struck Nabra with the bat and then abducted the 17-year-old, taking her into his auto to another location, where he assaulted her again, authorities say. Police say Nabra was assaulted and abducted near the intersection of Dranesville Road and Woodson Drive, which is just east of the Fairfax/Loudoun county line.

"It appears that the suspect became so enraged over this traffic argument that it escalated into deadly violence", Julie Parker, a spokeswoman for the Fairfax County Police Department, told a news conference, according to Reuters.

But after a string of attacks on Muslims around the world, most recently in London and in Portland, Oregon, some are deeply skeptical. She said the tragedy hits home because she has a daughter Nabra's age.

At least, this is what the police say.

Others have shared that view on social media. His public defender's office has declined to comment.

He could get up to 40 years in prison if convicted on the murder charge. "It is a time for us to come together to pray and care for our youth". "Indeed. If you think for a minute that her appearance had nothing to do with this crime, you're lying to yourself". She said he briefly attended school in the United States and had no prior connection to Hassanen.

On Father's Day, Mohmoud Hassanen spent the day at the mosque.

On Monday, British authorities charged a man with terrorism after he allegedly plowed his van into Muslim worshippers outside a London mosque, injuring at least nine people.

The 2015 Federal Bureau of Investigation hate crime report showed a surge in the number of hate crimes nationwide, with attacks against Muslims increasing the most sharply.

At the same time, he said there are people in the Muslim community who are less concerned with the legalities of what constitutes a hate crime and have a more visceral reaction. The FBI defines a hate crime as a "criminal offense against a person or property motivated in whole or in part by an offender's bias against a race, religion, disability, sexual orientation, ethnicity, gender, or gender identity".

That doesn't mean it wasn't a hate crime.

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