NYPD releases video of person of interest in Muslim stabbing

NYPD releases video of person of interest in Muslim stabbing
The NYPD is to trying to identify this man in connection with a homicide in the 107th Precinct.
Courtesy NYPD
By Patrick Donachie

Police have released a video of “a person of interest” wanted for questioning in the fatal stabbing of a Bangladeshi woman who was the aunt of an NYPD officer in Jamaica Hills Wednesday evening.

In the black-and-white video, a man wearing a T-shirt, shorts and white sneakers strolls past a front yard. The time on the security camera reads 9:11, which is approximately the time that police responded to a 911 call to 160-12 Normal Road.

When police arrived, they found Nazma Khanam, 60, unconscious on the ground. She had been stabbed in the torso. EMS workers responded to the scene and took her to Jamaica Hospital, but she was pronounced dead on arrival. She was walking to her home on 161st Street, a short distance from where the attack occurred. Khanam was a former teacher and immigrant from Bangladesh. Her husband, who suffers from asthma, had fallen behind her.

Attorney and activist Ali Najmi said her funeral would be held today at 2 p.m. at the Jamaica Muslim Center in Jamaica Hills.

According to a tweet from the NYPD Muslim Officers Society, Khanam was the aunt of an NYPD transit officer. The NYPD said preliminarily that the stabbing appeared to be an attempted robbery, although the Daily News reported the NYPD Hate Crimes Task Force was also keeping abreast of developments in the investigation.

The New York Chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations urged the NYPD to investigate the possibility that the attack was a hate crime, noting that Khanam was dressed in Islamic attire at the time of the attack.

The stabbing followed the murder of Imam Maulana Akonjee and Thara Uddin last month. Oscar Morel, of East New York, Brooklyn, was arrested and charged with murdering the two men in broad daylight by shooting them both in the head a few blocks from their mosque. Morel was arraigned Thursday and pleaded not guilty to the charges.

There have been several violent incidents perpetrated against Muslims in the borough during the course of the year.

The investigation into the stabbing death of Khanam was ongoing, the NYPD said. No arrests had been made thus far.

Reach reporter Patrick Donachie by e-mail at pdonachie@cnglocal.com or by phone at (718) 260–4573.

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