According to a news release from the Passaic County Prosecutor’s Office, a 32-year-old man, Serif Zorba, has been arrested for stabbing an imam at a mosque in New Jersey.
This incident happened on Sunday, 9th April 2023.
Serif Zorba was arrested for allegedly stabbing Imam Sayed Elnakib of the Omar Mosque in Paterson, New Jersey.
Elnakib, now in stable condition, was stabbed during the day’s first prayer around 5:30 a.m. while the congregation was kneeling, mosque spokesperson Abdul Hamdan told CNN.
Surveillance video of the incident shows a group of worshippers at the mosque positioned in five long rows.
As they knelt in prayer, a person wearing a hoodie in the third row moved to the front of the room, stepping over other worshippers, and thrust his right hand into the back of the kneeling imam.
The congregation then rose together, and the assailant tried to push through the crowd and flee out of the back of the mosque.
Zorba is charged with first-degree attempted murder, third-degree possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose, and fourth-degree criminal possession of a firearm, the release reads.
The prosecutor’s office said he will appear at the Central Judicial Processing Court today at 1:30 p.m.
Bulent Can, a senior assistant prosecutor from the Passaic County Prosecutor’s Office, told CNN they are still investigating the motive.
The maximum sentence for his alleged crimes is around 26 years, according to the release