By IAN BISHOP
February 16, 2005 --
Relatives of the Christian Egyptian immigrant family butchered in their Jersey City home lobbied federal officials yesterday for help in unraveling the crime — which they believe was committed by hate-filled Muslim extremists.
The grieving kin talked to FBI officials and their local legislators, including New Jersey Sen. Frank Lautenberg, about getting the feds to play a larger role in the stalled probe into the killing of Hossam Armanious, his wife, Amal Garas, and their two daughters, Sylvia, 15, and Monica, 8.
"We came here crying for help from everyone," said Amal's uncle, Emil Garas.
The slain family — Coptic Christians who immigrated from
The theories in the killing range from robbery to murder by angry Muslims, incensed by pro-Christian Internet chat-room postings Hossam made under the name "I Love Jesus."
Relatives of the killed family yesterday said
that they do not believe the attack could have been a robbery or one of the
other competing theories — a vendetta left over from their days in
They believe the killing was a hate crime, likely perpetrated by Muslim extremists angry at Hossam's words and feelings about the treatment of Christians in his native land.
Garas spoke at a press conference, flanked by representatives from several human-rights groups, each of which believe the killing was motivated by religious hate.
With Post Wire Services