PLAINFIELD TOWNSHIP, IL – A horrifying incident unfolded in Plainfield Township, Illinois, as a 71-year-old man, Joseph M. Czuba, allegedly carried out a brutal attack on a Palestinian-American family due to their Muslim faith. The tragic incident saw a six-year-old boy, Wadea Al-Fayoume, fatally stabbed 26 times, while his mother, Hanaan Shahin, 32, sustained more than a dozen stab wounds. The attack appears to be influenced by the ongoing conflict between Hamas and Israel.
Local authorities responded to the scene, finding both victims at a home in an unincorporated area of Plainfield Township, approximately 40 miles southwest of Chicago. Czuba was also present at the scene, bloodied from a cut on his forehead.
The Will County Sheriff’s Office, in a statement posted on social media, revealed that detectives determined the victims were targeted because of their Muslim faith and the ongoing Middle Eastern conflict involving Hamas and Israel. Wadea Al-Fayoume tragically lost his life, while his mother remained hospitalized in critical condition, though she is expected to survive.
The Council on American–Islamic Relations identified the victims, stating that they had been living on the ground floor of Czuba’s house for two years, with Czuba as their landlord. The organization reported that text messages from the mother to the boy’s father indicated that Czuba yelled, ‘You Muslims must die!’ before the stabbing.
Czuba has been taken into custody and faces charges of first-degree murder, attempted first-degree murder, two hate crime counts, and aggravated battery with a deadly weapon. He is currently held at the Will County Adult Detention Facility.