FBI Looking into Islamic Web Site for
FBI is trying to determine whether an Islamic Web site that tracked users of an online chat room played a role in the killings
Wednesday, Feb. 2, 2005 Posted: 2:52:57PM EST
weeks after a Coptic Christian family of four was slain in
site in question, barsomyat.com, is no longer online. However, according to the
Associated Press, before it was shut down by its Minnesota hosting company, the
site reportedly featured photos of Hossam Armanious and his wife, Amal Garas—who, along with their daughters, Sylvia, 15, and
Monica, 8, were found bound and gagged on Jan. 14, their throats and heads stabbed
repeatedly. According to a report published Monday by the
AP reported that Armanious was an active participant in the PalTalk.com instant messaging service, in which he discussed religion with Christians and Muslims. Friends and family members have said the discussions frequently grew heated, and that Armanious received death threats because of his postings under the user name "I Love Jesus."
do know there is a site that monitors people on PalTalk,
but that shouldn't come as a shock," said John Conway, a spokesman for the
its report on Monday, the
After the discovery of the website, Dr. Monir A. Dawoud, Acting President of the American Coptic Association, said, “The discovery of a web site where Christians had their identities revealed, and were targeted for voicing their religious beliefs makes us, as Christians, feel for our safety, and contributes to the speculation that this was a hate crime.”
urged officials investigating the
“Adding the FBI Hate Crimes Unit to the investigation would make us feel that nothing was being overlooked,” said Dawoud.
However, DeFazio did say last week that the grisly slayings of the family of four appeared not to have to stemmed from a simple robbery—which authorities had stressed as being a possible motive.
"Certainly, based on the viciousness of the attacks, we think there's more than taking the money that was in the apartment," DeFazio had said.
In his statement yesterday, Dawoud stated that "We have faith in the American system of justice, but the initial conflicting reports and the lack of progress have caused fear to overtake our community."
"Children are afraid to sleep alone. People are installing double locks on their doors, bars on their windows and sophisticated alarm systems." the ACA head reported.
According to the ACA, five law enforcement agencies have been investigating this case—The Hudson County Prosecutor’s Office, The Jersey City Police, The Federal Bureau of Investigation, The Immigration and Naturalization Service, and The Federal Office of Immigration and Customs. The lead on the case is the Hudson County Prosecutor’s Office.
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