FBI To Probe Case of 3 Muslim Students Slain in NC
RALEIGH — As thousands of mourners prayed for the three Muslim-American students killed in Chapel Hill this week, the FBI opened its own investigation into the case Thursday.
In a brief news release late in the day, the FBI said it had launched “a parallel preliminary inquiry to determine whether or not any federal laws were violated related to the case.” The FBI had previously been called in to assist the Chapel Hill police in processing evidence from the crime scene; the new inquiry could broaden the case’s jurisdiction and potentially bolster the charges against the suspect.
The FBI’s announcement came hours after a somber funeral, where 5,500 mourners gathered at N.C. State University. Crowds knelt on a large blue tarp spread on a university soccer field across the street from an Islamic center in West Raleigh. . . .
Police have said a parking dispute may have led to the slayings, though families think the motive involved animosity based on the victims’ Muslim faith.
The father of the two women who died, Dr. Mohammad Abu-Salha, took the stage at the funeral and called on President Barack Obama to have the FBI carefully examine the motivation behind the slayings.
“This has hate crime written all over it,” Abu-Salha said, his voice rising.
‘Let’s stand up’
He added: “If they don’t listen carefully I will yell, and everybody else will. All honest Americans, they’re all here – white and black, and all colors and shapes. So let’s stand up – real and honest – and see what these three children were martyred about. It was not about a parking spot.”
Abu-Salha said this is not about revenge or punishment but about protecting every other child of any faith or ethnic background. . . .