Incident Summary:

01/30/1990: Muslim cleric and leader of an area mosque in Tucson, Arizona, in the United States, Rashad Khalifa, was stabbed to death in the kitchen of the mosque. Khalifa was stabbed over twenty times after receiving prior death threats over his interpretation of the Quran; the cleric believed in a brand of Islam based on numerology, which was opposed by fundamentalists. The perpetrators of the incident are believed to be members of the Jamaat-al-Fuqra Muslim sect. Five members, believed to be of the Buena Vista, Colorado sect of the group, were charged with conspiracy in the murder of Khalifa; three were convicted, and two others pled guilty, but the actual perpetrators who carried out the murder, were never found.



United States

North America

region/u.s. state:



Attack Information
Type of Attack (more) Assassination
Successful Attack? (more) Yes
Target Information (more)
Target Type: Religious Figures/Institutions
Name of Entity Rashad Khalifa, Muslim cleric and leader of an Islamic mosque
Specific Description Rashad Khalifa, Muslim cleric and leader of an Islamic mosque in Tucson, Arizona
Nationality of Target United States
Additional Information
Hostages No
Ransom No
Property Damage No
Weapon Information
Type Sub-type
Melee Knife or Other Sharp Object
Weapon Details
knife; victim stabbed 20 times
Additional Information
Suicide Attack?No
Part of Multiple Incident?No
Criterion 1 (more) Yes
Criterion 2 (more) Yes
Criterion 3 (more) Yes
Additional Information Five perpetrators, believed to be members of the Buena Vista sect of the black Muslim extremist group, Jamaat-al-Fuqra, were arrested and charged for conspiracy to commit murder in the planning of Khalifa's death, and while three were convicted (including James Williams), and two pled guilty, the actual perpetrators of the incident were never identified.
Perpetrator Group Information
Group Name Claimed Responsibility
Jamaat-al-Fuqra (suspected) No
Perpetrator Statistics
Number of Perpetrators Unknown
Number of Captured Perpetrators Unknown
Casualty Information
Total Number of Casualties 1 Fatalities / 0 Injured
Total Number of Fatalities 1
Number of U.S. Fatalities 1
Number of Perpetrator Fatalities 0
Total Number of Injured 0
Number of U.S. Injured 0
Number of Perpetrators Injured 0
Steve Fainaru and Alia Ibrahim, "Mysterious Trip to Flight 77 Cockpit; Suicide Pilot's Conversion to Radical Islam Remains Obscure," The Washington Post, September 10, 2002.
Chris Kahn, "Odd place for terrorists: Investigation leads to rural Virginia hamlet," The Associated Press, December 21, 2001.
Mark Hosenball, "Another Holy War, Waged on American Soil, A Muslim sect with a dangerous agenda," Newsweek, United States Edition, February 28, 1994.