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Kassim Alhimidi, Husband of ‘Hate Crime’ Victim Shaima Alawadi, Arrested on Suspicion of Murder

The husband of an Iraqi-American killed in March in what was believed to be an Islamophobic hate crime has been arrested in southern California on suspicion of murdering the woman.

The Associated Press reports that 48-year-old Kassim Alhimidi was arrested by police in El Cajon, just east of San Diego, on Friday. Police say that the March 21 attack on 32-year-old Shaima Alawadi, who died three days later, was not an anti-Muslim hate crime like they originally believed, but rather an act of domestic violence.

Alawadi, an early 1990s refugee from Saddam Hussein’s brutality and a mother of five children ages 8 to 17, was found beaten to death with a tire iron in her home with a note near her battered body reading “Go back to your country, you terrorist.” Her oldest daughter found her body.

At a press conference following his wife’s murder, Alhimidi pleaded for information about who killed his wife and why.

El Cajon Police Chief Jim Redman would not discuss evidence or possible motives in the case.

“Criminal investigations build, evidence builds, and you reach a point where you have enough evidence to move forward, and that’s what happened in this case,” he told the AP.

Alhimidi is scheduled to be charged on Tuesday.

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