Muslim leaders spearhead new efforts to find kidnappers

February 8, 2013 2:03:54 AM PST
On Wednesday, local Muslim clerics gathered around the leader of Majlish Ash-Ashura, the governing body of a wide swath of Muslim organizations in the Delaware Valley.

Ashura is led by Imam Asim Abdur-Rashid, the grandfather of the 5-year-old girl who was kidnapped last month from her school at 60th and Cedar.

The girl was found and returned to her mother under still mysterious circumstances as the hunt for the kidnappers goes on.

The imams came together in part to quell rumors or notions that a rival Muslim organization may have been responsible for the kidnapping of the child by someone in Muslim attire.

They believe the attire was part of a ruse to throw police and the FBI off the track.

"It is clear we have a predator in our community along with his accomplices. We must flush them out," Imam Farid Rasool said.

This community of Muslims says it is putting up at least $20,000 in reward money for information leading to an arrest and conviction.

This, they emphasize, is separate from the $80,000 posted by the Citizens Crime Commission.

Police have received approximately 225 tip calls from the public so far as a taskforce of detectives tries to run down every one of the credible ones.

Last night and this morning, Special Victims specialists took the 5-year-old out again to canvas the Cobbs Creek community near Bryant Elementary School, seeing if she can point to a specific house or landmark.

She has told police she was blindfolded throughout her overnight captivity and was never driven in a vehicle.

She told police she was walked or carried to the Upper Darby playground where she was abandoned in the freezing overnight darkness wearing only a t-shirt.

The local Muslim leaders say they will meet on the campus of the Bryant school on Saturday afternoon to perform a door-to-door sweep looking for clues.