Vandals set fire to memorial to slain Virginia teen Nabra Hassanen

Rizwan Jaka, spokesman for the All Dulles Area Muslim Society Center in Sterling, said he expected anywhere from 2,000 to 4,000 people to attend the funeral services for Nabra Hassanen.

A memorial for Nabra Hassanen, the 17-year-old Muslim girl who was murdered on her way back to her mosque for an all-night prayer session in Virginia on Sunday, was set on fire in Washington D.C. on Wednesday.

The Council on American-Islamic Affairs has urged police to "conduct a thorough investigation of possible bias motive in [Hassanen's] case, coming as it does at a time of rising Islamophobia and anti-Muslim hate attacks nationwide". Martinez Torres reportedly started arguing with one of the teens riding a bike, and drove his auto over the curb. They said he beat her with a baseball bat early Sunday, drove off with her in his auto, assaulted her again and then dumped her body in a pond near his home.

Torres, 22, put the injured teen in his auto, officials said. A body of a female was found at around 3 a pond.

"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. According to her autopsy, Hassanen suffered from blunt force trauma to the upper body, police said. Then, they say, he put her in his vehicle, assaulted her again and dumped her body. Torres has been charged with murder in connection to the case. He is being held without bond.

It's unclear if Martinez-Torres entered a plea. United States Immigration officials reportedly requested that a "detainer" be put on him, indicating they might be interested in deportation at some point in the future.

In a sign of solidarity, Muslim groups held vigils across the country Tuesday to honor Hassanen. Fairfax County's prosecutor said they are investigating to see whether they will charge Torres with anything else.

"It's not just a tragedy for the Muslim community". But Neshanti stuck with it, and gained a lasting appreciation for Islam and for the way Nabra shared her culture with her friends.

"Not a hate crime", Sergeant Anna Rose said, explaining that there was "no indication [Soloman] was there to desecrate that memorial". "She has Muslim clothes". They say that her death "appears to be the result of a road rage incident".

Hassanen said he immigrated from Egypt in 1987 and that he is an American citizen.

His first born was "a lovely lady", who excelled in school, he said.

She excelled in school, and enjoyed music and fashion, he added.

Lamia Sarver of McLean does not usually attend the ADAMS mosque, but said she wants to support the Hassanen family.

Nabra's family said they feel certain she was abducted and killed because she was in Islamic clothing as she returned to the mosque, wearing a long women's garment known as an abaya and a hijab.

Crying, wiping tears from his eyes, he said he taught his children "how to love other people".

"If nobody gave you a compliment, she gave you a compliment". "She's not going to come back".

"It's kind of scary what's happening", she said. He didn't have an answer, he said. "Even if not, why is this individual targeting a group of people dressed in Muslim attire?" After all, they live in a world that routinely calls their very humanity into question, every day, on the basis of their faith and nationality.

Just this week, a man drove a van into a group of Muslims outside of a mosque in London. "It is a time for us to come together to pray and care for our youth".

Online fundraisers on LaunchGood and GoFundMe are raising money for Hassanen's family to cover funeral expenses and other needs with a combined goal of $365,000.

  • Larry Hoffman