ICE seeks custody of El Salvador man accused of murdering Muslim teenager

Salaam said the community is struggling because Hassanen was beloved by so many and well-known for her kind spirit.

The murder of a teenage Muslim girl beaten and killed by a bat-wielding motorist near a Virginia mosque was likely a "road rage incident", not a hate crime, United States police said, prompting outrage from many who say the teen was targeted because of her religion.

Due to Hassanen's religion and the proximity of the attack to a mosque, media originally reported the killing was potentially motivated by her religion or ethnicity.

"It appears the suspect became so enraged over this traffic argument that it escalated into deadly violence", Julie Parker, director of public affairs for the Fairfax police, said at a news conference Monday evening.

Hassanen was with a group of young people after late-night prayers at the All Dulles Area Muslim Society (ADAMS) mosque when they were reportedly involved in an altercation with a 22-year-old driver, Darwin Martinez Torres.

According to police, the teen was walking back from the Sterling mosque Sunday around 3:40 a.m. when a man confronted then tried to run them over.

What was supposed to be a morning of prayer and reflection in the Islamic holy month of Ramadan ended in tragedy when 17-year-old Nabra Hassanen was fatally attacked as she headed back to a Virginia mosque after enjoying a pre-dawn meal with friends. Detectives said he then drove her to another location and assaulted her again.

She said he took the girl with him in his auto to a nearby location, where she was assaulted a second time.

On Sunday afternoon, Hassanen's body was found in a pond a few miles away from the mosque.

An autopsy revealed Nabra had blunt force trauma to her upper body.

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She added that there was no sign that Martinez used racial slurs as he chased the group of teens into a vehicle park, emerged from his auto with a baseball bat and struck Hassanen before loading her into a auto and dumping her body in a pond in a neighbouring town. Police have charged 22-year-old Darwin Martinez Torres with murder. US immigration officials requested that a "detainer" be placed on him at the county jail, meaning they are interested in possible future deportation proceedings.

Police had announced earlier on Monday that they were "not investigating [Hassanen's] murder as a hate crime", provoking deep scepticism among many within the Muslim community.

Rabia Chaudry, a lawyer and Muslim activist who lives in the Washington suburbs, ridiculed the notion it was road rage, saying on Twitter: "If you think for a minute that her appearance had nothing to do with this crime, you're lying to yourself".

Police have not identified Hassanen, but her father confirmed she was the victim in Sunday's attack.

Hassanen is Muslim and was observing Ramadan, a religious fast during which many practicing Muslims abstain from eating between sunrise and sunset. Police stopped the auto and took the driver, Torres, into custody. Torres became so enraged after arguing with one teen he drove up on a curb, police said.

When Nabra's friends returned to the mosque, they explained what happened and personnel from the mosque contacted the authorities. The boys declined to give their names.

Mohmoud Hassanen, 60, said in an interview with The Guardian: "He followed the girls, and all of them had head cloths, meaning they are Muslim, and he had a baseball stick".

Aboras emigrated from southern Egypt and has three younger daughters, who like Nabra were born in the U.S. He's not particularly interested in knowing why his daughter was attacked or whether it could be considered a hate crime. Why, when my daughter fell down, why did he hit her? His daughter is gone, regardless.

He said he also told the detective, "I want to ask him one question". "Christian, Muslim, Jew, Hispanic, whatever".

This story has been corrected to fix the CAIR reference to American-Islamic, not Islamic-American.

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