Federal Court Adds Firearm Charge In Temple Israel Shooting Case

ALBANY, NEW YORK — Mufid Fawaz Alkhader, the man accused of shooting at Temple Israel, faced an additional firearms charge in federal court on Thursday. Initially charged with illegal firearm possession, Alkhader now also faces charges for conspiring to make a false statement during a firearm purchase. He risks a 20-year prison sentence and a $250,000 fine but has not yet entered a plea.

Alkhader’s attorney, Tim Austin, waived the preliminary and detention hearings, resulting in Alkhader remaining in jail without bail. Judge Christian Hummel deemed him a flight risk and a danger to the community.

Simultaneously, the City of Albany is advancing its investigation. Mayor Kathy Sheehan of Albany announced a Red Flag charge against Alkhader, aiming to prevent his firearm possession. This state charge complements the federal case, with Sheehan relying on federal partners for further action.

The incident is being probed as a hate crime. If more charges are added at the state level, a hate crime could be among them, encompassing criminal mischief and trespassing, as explained by Cassandra Kazukenus, a Supervising Attorney at Harding Mazzotti. The addition of these charges could lead to a hate crime allegation in New York State.

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