Yaser Abdel Said: Suspect on FBI most-wanted list arrested

Yaser Abdel Said

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Yaser Abdel Said, 63, was wanted by the FBI in connection with the killings of his daughters for 12 years

A cab driver wanted on suspicion of murdering his teen daughters has been arrested after 12 years on the run.

A warrant for Yaser Abdel Said’s arrest was issued the day after the 2008 shootings of his daughters, Sarah Yaser Said, 17, and Amina Yaser Said, 18.

The Egyptian-born suspect was placed on the FBI’s Ten Most Wanted Fugitives in 2014.

Almost seven years on, Mr Said has been taken into custody in Justin, Texas, with two relatives arrested alongside.

Mr Said, who is now 63, will soon be transferred to Dallas County, the FBI’s Dallas branch said in a statement released on Wednesday.

“The FBI-led Dallas Violent Crimes Task Force has worked tirelessly to find Yaser Abdel Said,” said FBI Dallas special agent Matthew DeSarno. “These experienced investigators never gave up on their quest to find him and pledged to never forget the young victims in this case.”

The FBI also announced on Wednesday that two more arrests were made, CBS DFW reported. Islam Said, the suspect’s son, and Yassim Said, the suspect’s brother, both face charges for harbouring a fugitive.

What is Said accused of?

A murder investigation was opened on 1 January, 2008 after two young women, Amina and Sarah, were found shot to death.

On that day, Mr Said took Amina and Sarah for a ride in his taxicab, on the pretext of taking them for a meal, the FBI alleges.

The FBI said he drove them to Irving, Texas, where he allegedly shot both girls inside the taxicab. They both died of multiple gunshot wounds.

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Yaser Abdel Said is alleged to have shot his daughters inside his taxicab on New Year’s Day

Before their deaths, a family member told police that the suspect allegedly threatened “bodily harm″ against Sarah for going on a date with a non-Muslim, according to BBC partner CBS News.

The sisters’ great aunt, Gail Gattrell, has described their deaths as so-called “honour killings”.

What is an ‘honour killing’?

It is the killing of a member of a family who is perceived to have brought dishonour upon relatives.

Pressure group Human Rights Watch says the most common reasons are that the victim:

  • refused to enter into an arranged marriage
  • was the victim of a sexual assault or rape
  • had sexual relations outside marriage, even if only alleged

But killings can be carried out for more trivial reasons, like dressing in a way deemed inappropriate or displaying behaviour seen as disobedient.

Irving Police Department conducted an investigation and, on 2 January, 2008, a capital murder-multiple warrant was issued for Mr Said’s arrest.

Since then, local detectives and the FBI “have tirelessly pursued justice for Amina and Sarah”, Irving Police Department police chief Jeff Spivey said.

On 21 August, 2008, a federal unlawful flight to avoid prosecution warrant was issued by a district court in Texas.

FBI agents continued to pursue Mr Said and, after “12 years of frustration and dead ends”, eventually captured him on Wednesday.

Mr DeSarno said Mr Said’s capture and arrest “bring us one step closer to justice for Amina and Sarah”.

More on ‘honour killings’:

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Media captionSaba Maqsood survived her family’s attempt to kill her, as Amber Shamsi reports