New Jersey Imam Stabbed While Leading Muslim Morning Prayers

Police Officers in sentry around the Omar Mosque in Paterson

A New Jersey Imam was stabbed while leading Muslim morning prayers by a man named Serif Zorba. Zorba, who is 32 years old, appeared in court on Monday and pleaded not guilty to charges of attempted murder, possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose, and unlawful possession of a weapon.

The New Jersey Imam, Sayed Elnakib, was stabbed during the first prayer of the day at the Omar Mosque in Paterson and is currently in stable condition.

Surveillance footage shows the attacker, wearing a hoodie, moving to the front of the mosque and thrusting his hand into the back of the kneeling imam. There are at least 321,000 Muslim residents in New Jersey.

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After the attack, the assailant tried to flee through the crowd but was caught and arrested. Zorba, a native of Istanbul, is being held on pretrial detention and is scheduled to appear in court again on Thursday.

Although the motive for the attack is still under investigation, and the maximum sentence for the alleged crimes is around 26 years.

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