IBNS: An Illinois man was charged with hate crimes after he allegedly stabbed a six-year-old Muslim boy to death and left the minor’s mother injured.
Police have linked the attack to the ongoing conflict between Israel and Hamas group in the Middle East since October 7.
The child was stabbed 26 times by the attacker, who was identified as 71-year-old Joseph Czuba, in Plainfield, Illinois.
“The thirty-two (32) year-old female was transported in serious condition and had over a dozen stab wounds to her body. The female victim is recovering from her injuries at a local area hospital and is expected to survive this brutal attack,” read a statement issued by the Will County Sheriff’s Office.
“The six-year-old male was transported to the hospital in critical condition. The boy later succumbed to his injuries and was pronounced deceased by a doctor,” read the statement.
“The six-year-old boy was stabbed twenty-six (26) times throughout his body. The knife used in this attack is a twelve-inch serrated military style knife that has a seven-inch blade,” the statement said.
Joseph Czuba was charged with First Degree Murder, Attempted First Degree Murder, Hate Crime (2 counts), and Aggravated Battery with a Deadly Weapon.
“Detectives were able to determine that both victims in this brutal attack were targeted by the suspect due to them being Muslim and the on-going Middle Eastern conflict involving Hamas and the Israelis,” read the statement.
President Joe Biden reacts
US President Joe Biden has described the incident as ‘horrific’.
He said the victim was a Palestinian Muslim who came to America with his family ‘seeking what we all seek—a refuge to live, learn, and pray in peace’.
In a statement, Biden said: “This horrific act of hate has no place in America, and stands against our fundamental values: freedom from fear for how we pray, what we believe, and who we are.”
“As Americans, we must come together and reject Islamophobia and all forms of bigotry and hatred. I have said repeatedly that I will not be silent in the face of hate. We must be unequivocal. There is no place in America for hate against anyone,” he said.