QUEENS — Shortly before 5 a.m. on Nov. 18, Bashir Ahmad arrived at a Flushing mosque to unlock the doors for morning prayers, not knowing that danger lurked in the dark of early morning.
When he was at the door, Bernhard Laufer emerged and stabbed Ahmad in the back, Queens District Attorney Richard A. Brown alleged Friday, formally announcing that Laufer is being charged with attempted murder as a hate crime — as well as other charges.
But the bloody attack at Masjid Al-Saaliheen Mosque— for which Laufer faces up to 25 years if convicted — did not end there, Brown said.
Ahmad turned, coming face-to-face with his attacker. He put his arms up to protect himself from Laufer's blade, but the 55-year-old Forest Hills resident persisted.
He "continued to stab him about the body, causing bleeding, lacerations, bruising and swelling to his hands, head, legs and back, and threatened him by stating, 'I’ll kill you Muslim (expletive redacted),'" Brown said in a statement.
Ahmad, 67, wound up hospitalized and had stitches and staples for these injuries, Brown said.
"Crimes fueled by hate will never be tolerated here in Queens County, the most diverse county in the nation. When they do, regrettably, occur, they will be condemned in the strongest possible terms.”
Laufer awaits arraignment in Queens Criminal Court, Brown said.