The University of Wisconsin-Stout is offering a $15,000 reward for information in the murder of a Saudi student. Menomonie Police Chief Eric Atkinson said Wednesday that investigators can’t rule out the weekend beating of 24-year-old Hussain Saeed Alnahdi as a hate crime.
“Given the circumstances, anybody would be nervous, anybody would have some level of anxiety,” Atkinson said. Alnahdi died of at an Eau Claire hospital on Monday after being beaten in downtown Menominee early Sunday, while many people were out for Halloween.
Atkinson said he’s not aware of similar assaults on foreign students on the Menominee campus. “In the last four years that I’ve been here we have not experienced that,” he said, adding that shouldn’t detract from the grave seriousness of the assault on Alnahdi.
“We do think there is other information out there that could be gleaned, and we’re hopeful that it comes forward,” said Stout Chancellor Bob Meyer in announcing the reward, which is is being funded by private donations and the UW-Stout Foundation.
Another $5,000 has been put up by the Minnesota chapter of the Council on Arab American Relations. “Most of us in the Twin Cities don’t know Menominee to be unsafe, but we do recognize today that with the rise of Islamophobia, that rhetoric has created an unsafe environment for Muslims no matter where they are,”said Jaylani Hussein, executive director of the CAIR chapter in the Twin Cities.