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Published: Tue, August 16, 2016
Economy | By Melissa Porter

Imam Murder 'Person of Interest' Being Questioned by NYPD


Akonjee was a father of seven who had led the mosque for two years, according to the AP.

News reports the man was detained near the area of the shootings.

"While we do not yet know the motivation for the murders of Maulama Akonjee and Thara Uddin, we do know that our Muslim communities are in the perpetual crosshairs of bigotry", the mayor said.

The motive for the shooting was not immediately known and no evidence has been uncovered that the two men were targeted due to their faith, but police were not ruling out any possibility, a department spokeswoman said.

On Monday, Muslim community members will gather in Brooklyn to hold Islamic funeral prayers for the two men.

After the ceremony, part of the crowd marched to the spot a few blocks away where the shooting took place.

This story has been corrected to show the imam's full name is Maulama Alauddin Akonjee.

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio's press secretary said on Saturday that the mayor was "closely monitoring the NYPD investigation of this tragedy". But what got him roaring applause from angry Muslim community members when he promised justice would be served: "We will make sure that whoever did this is brought to justice". Investigators from a warrants squad tracked it to an address in Brooklyn where they waited in an unmarked police cruiser for the man to enter before blocking him in, police said.

Emotions ran high. Some people shouted for justice as a man spoke at the podium.

Tiffany Phillips, a spokeswoman for the New York City Police Department, said no evidence had been uncovered to suggest the two men were shot due to their faith.

Authorities say surveillance footage showed the vehicle leaving the scene of Saturday's shooting in Queens. Detectives checked a police database and found that a vehicle with a matching description had been involved in a hit-and-run crash in Brooklyn, police said.

The New York Post reported a suspect was arrested Sunday night in Brooklyn. The other victim has been identified as Tharam Uddin, 64, of Queens. The son says the family is discussing funeral plans.

(Adds media reports of a suspect being questioned) By Chris Prentice and Laila Kearney NEW YORK, Aug 15 (Reuters) - New York City police on Monday were questioning a suspect in the killing of a Muslim cleric and his associate as they left prayers at a mosque in the borough of Queens, local media reported, in a crime that shocked their Bangladeshi community.

Meanwhile, the Council on American-Islamic Relations planned to announce a Dollars 10,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the shooter.

Many said they believed the shootings were a hate crime carried out by a Muslim-hating maniac.

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