Afghan man charged in killing of 2 Muslims in Albuquerque

This photo released Tuesday, Aug. 9, 2022, by the Albuquerque Police Department shows Muhammad Syed. Syed, 51, was taken into custody Monday, Aug. 8, 2022, in connection with the killings of four Muslim men in Albuquerque, New Mexico, over the last nine months. He faces charges in two of the deaths and may be charged in the others. (Albuquerque Police Department via AP)

A Muslim man from Afghanistan was charged Tuesday with killing two other Muslim men in Albuquerque, New Mexico, authorities said, and he is suspected in two similar slayings that sparked fear in Muslim communities nationwide.

Officials announced the arrest of 51-year-old Muhammad Syed a day after he was taken into custody.

Police Chief Harold Medina said authorities found the suspect while tracking down a vehicle believed to be involved in one of the killings in New Mexico's largest city.

"The driver was detained, and he is our primary suspect for the murders," he said in a tweet.

Investigators received tips from the city's Muslim community that pointed toward Syed, who has lived in the U.S. for about five years, police said.

The motive and exact nature of the relationships between Syed and the victims – and the victims to one another – remained unclear.