Thousands attend slain Muslim teen's funeral in Virginia


Instead, they say his "anger over the encounter" with the teens led to the violence, and they are calling the incident an act of road rage.

"We'd like to hear from the witnesses to the initial attack as to whether they heard any biased statements", Hooper said. "Christian, Muslim, Jew, Hispanic, whatever".

The 2015 Federal Bureau of Investigation hate crime report showed a surge in the number of hate crimes nationwide, with attacks against Muslims increasing the most sharply.

Mahmoud Hassanen told CNN he believes his daughter was targeted because of her religion.

Hassanen spent Sunday in the mosque not for Ramadan prayers, but to pray for the safe return of his daughter, sixteen year old Nabra Hassanen, who went missing in the early morning hours after leaving the mosque to enjoy a pre-dawn meal with a group of friends.

Police have said they believe Hassanen was a victim of road rage, not a hate crime, but Fairfax County Commonwealth's Attorney Raymond Morrogh said prosecutors have not ruled out any motive. The college student is from the same area in Egypt that Nabra's family is from, and said she attended because the teen was "one of us".

On Sunday afternoon, Hassanen's body was found in a pond a few miles away from the mosque. Detectives said he then drove her to another location and assaulted her again.

Nabra, a 10th grader with three younger sisters, was well known in her Reston neighborhood.

TORRES IS BEING HELD without bail and police are not searching for other suspects, according to Parker. "It's too hard. I raised my daughter for 17 years".

While he disagrees with the assessment of law enforcement regarding hate crime charges, Mohmoud is grateful to the Fairfax Police Department for their work on the case.

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Shahnaz Aurazaki of Sterling said she lived in the area for 32 years, and it was always safe, but "now every day you see something on the news". Martinez Torres then allegedly killed Nabra and dumped her in a pond near his apartment complex in Sterling. "God tells us in the Koran that we must respond to bad with good".

Muslim advocacy groups have said that authorities should continue to look into the possibility of bias.

At the same time, he said there are people in the Muslim community who are less concerned with the legalities of what constitutes a hate crime and have a more visceral reaction.

There's no way to downplay it as being rooted in anything other than hate.

Martinez Torres and a teen on a bicycle got into a dispute and Martinez drove his vehicle up on the curb, scattering the teens, police said. "She liked to help other people".

A memorial for Nabra Hassanen, the Muslim teenager killed in Virginia over the weekend, was set on fire on Wednesday in Washington, D.C., Fox5 reported.

According to local reporters, a road rage incident turned deadly after 22-year-old Darwin Martinez Torres became enraged during an argument with one of the teens in the group who was on a bicycle.

For Saniya Salah, 74, who lives around the corner from the mosque that Hassanen left minutes before she was attacked and has granddaughters Hassanen's age, the attack has shaken her sense of security.

While waiting for a vigil after the teen's funeral and burial, Fairfax County Police Chief Edwin Roessler Jr. spoke with The Associated Press about the community's concerns.