By Sophia Tareen
An Illinois landlord accused of fatally stabbing a 6-year-old Muslim boy and seriously wounding his mother was charged with a hate crime after police and relatives said he singled out the victims because of their faith and as a response to the war between Israel and Hamas.
In recent days, police in U.S. cities and federal authorities have been on high alert for violence driven by antisemitic or Islamophobic sentiments. FBI officials, along with Jewish and Muslim groups, have reported an increase of hateful and threatening rhetoric.
In the Chicago-area case, officers found the 32-year-old woman and boy late in the morning on Oct. 14 at a home in an unincorporated area of Plainfield Township, about 40 miles (65 kilometers) southwest of Chicago, the Will County Sheriff’s Office said in a statement on social media.
Relatives and a Muslim civil liberties and advocacy group identified the slain boy as the wounded woman’s son.
This article was originally published by the Associated Press.