A New Jersey man is now in police custody after stabbing an imam at a mosque yesterday, The New York Times reported.
At around 5:30 A.M., while the congregation was kneeling during the first prayer of the day, a hooded man moved to the front of the room and stabbed the kneeling imam. The assailant attempted to flee after the attack, but was stopped by the other worshippers within the mosque.
“This is a senseless crime, but one that we strongly believe is an isolated incident,” said Abdul Hamdan, the mosque’s spokesperson. “Because of the swift action of the Omar Mosque congregants, the attacker was swiftly and immediately apprehended.”
Serif Zorba was arrested shortly after and charged with first-degree attempted murder, third-degree possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose, and fourth-degree unlawful possession of a weapon. The 32-year-old is scheduled to appear in court some time today for his bond hearing.
The victim, Imam Sayed Elnakib of the Omar Mosque, was rushed to a nearby hospital to receive medical care. Officials say he is now in stable condition, and is now focusing on recovering and returning to his congregants.