Caught on camera: Congregants hold down man accused of stabbing imam at mosque

On Sunday, a knifing took place during worship at a mosque in New Jersey, leading to an imam being admitted to the hospital on Monday in Paterson.

Imam Sayed Elnakib, a spouse and father to three sons, is anticipated to fully recuperate.

Zorba Serif, a 32-year-old individual who previously worshipped with them, is not affiliated, stated Paterson at Mosque Omar, speaking to the religious leaders.

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Miles, the Eyewitness News reporter, spoke to President Zorba, who believes in praying to Mevlana Mosque’s president, over the phone before the Saturday night before the pre-dawn attack.

“He was ordinary, like he would come in and pray and leave,” said Hasan Oren, President of Mevlana Mosque.

Zorba, speaking through a Turkish interpreter, entered a plea of not guilty on Monday afternoon. “I didn’t do anything,” he said, according to the attorney.

“They’re champions, they truly are,” stated Abdul Hamdan, legal representative for Omar Mosque.

The 65-year-old imam of the Omar Mosque was stabbed several times, while off camera, a man suddenly appearing and swiftly moving towards the front of the room is captured in the surveillance footage, instead of resuming his prayer position.

The perpetrator was unable to escape, thanks to the vigilance of the worshipers. A cluster of individuals forcefully immobilized a male individual wearing a beige hoodie, as captured in a cell phone recording taken shortly thereafter.

Hamdan stated, ‘They displayed immense bravery and managed to restrain him and capture him until the arrival of local authorities.’ As witnessed in that footage, over half of the worshippers actively pursued this individual, undeterred by his possession of two knives.

Paterson law enforcement officers can be observed extracting the individual from within the mosque located on Getty Avenue.

On Thursday, Serif Zorba will make another court appearance. He is currently being detained without the option for bail and has been apprehended and accused of both attempted homicide and firearm offenses.

Elnakib endured two knife injuries to his back and is anticipated to recover.

Major Fred Fife from the NJ Attorney General’s Office stated, “Every possible lead will be pursued, as there is a highly comprehensive investigation underway.”

With 10 days of Ramadan left, all 12 mosques in the city will experience a heightened visible and undercover police presence.

The police department is going to enact some very specific plans that I think will give a sense of safety to this community, said Fife.

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Paterson Mayor Andre Sayegh stated, “There will be a police presence at all places of worship, including this mosque, to ensure the safety and security of the worshipers.”

Councilman Al Abdel-Aziz shared an update on his Facebook page shortly after the incident of stabbing was reported.

The councilman expressed, “In the midst of this challenging period, I extend my sympathies and well wishes to him and his family. I hope for his complete and swift recuperation and am grateful to know that Imam Sayed Elnakib is in a stable state.”

It is thought to be a solitary assault.

The Passaic County Prosecutor’s Office is requesting anyone with additional information about this incident to contact the Bureau Detective Department Police in Paterson at 973-321-1120 or org@passaiccountynj or tips@ or the helpline 1-877-370-PCPO.