By JOSHUA ROBERTSMAN, Associated Press – A Muslim priest in a southwestern New Mexico town has been charged with trying to kill a Christian priest who was being accused of trying to convert Muslims to Christianity.
Authorities said the priest was arrested Monday and charged with conspiracy to commit murder and kidnapping.
The suspect, 29-year-old Omar Nader Abdalla, is being held without bail.
A police spokeswoman said the case is still under investigation.
Abdalla was charged with kidnapping, kidnapping and attempted murder, the Albuquerque Journal reported.
The newspaper said the suspect is not related to the suspect accused of killing the Christian priest.
The AP could not immediately reach Abdalla’s attorney.
A church member said Abdalla once tried to convert a Muslim to Christianity in an attempt to convert them to Christianity, the Journal reported, quoting the person.
He also was arrested in 2014 on charges of kidnapping.
Abdallah’s attorney did not immediately return a message seeking comment.
Abdallas father, Zahi Abdalla of Ojai, said the family is still mourning the death of his son.
He said the father is angry because Abdalla is Muslim and accused his son of being a spy.
The family has said they were unaware Abdalla had ever been to Ojae.
Ojaii is located about an hour and a half from Albuquerque and has a population of about 3,000.
Abdalls brother, Mohamed Abdalla-Abdalla, said he believes Abdalla and his family are targets.
He asked why anyone would try to harm a Christian.
Abdals brother said he has no idea why Abdalla would do something like that.
“We have never had any issues with anyone, except for a few years,” Mohamed Abdallah-Abdaalla said.
Abdalli was arrested when a man who lived in Ojayi said he saw Abdalla trying to set up a meeting for him to be baptized.
“I was surprised because he was not one of my family members,” the man said.