After holding his three month old daughter over the bridge railing, and then releasing her, he says he drove to an Atlantic City mosque, Masjid Muhammad, and confessed. Then he drove to a second mosque in Camden County, where he lives in Galloway, and then to his father’s home in Winslow, NJ. His father, Muhsin Abdur-Raheem notified police.
Here’s the bottom line, and it is the same old story we have heard so many times: the father says his son is “a devout Muslim, who prayed regularly.”
Shamsid-Din Abdur Raheem is reportedly:
“an aspiring lawyer, a college senior who won a prestigious internship last year with the Attorney General’s Office in Washington, D.C. His father called him studious and devout.
Abdur-Raheem was a criminal justice major at The Richard Stockton College and aspired to be an attorney according to his Facebook page
In the meantime, a beautiful baby is believed to be in an icy river. Could she possibly survive the fall to the water. Doubtful. Could she survive the water…the cold? No. But her father is a devout Muslim. His child’s mother probably drove him to it.
The devout Shamsid, entered the baby’s grandmother’s house (the mother’s mother), punched the 6o-year-old in the face, pried little Zara out of her grandmother’s arms, and ran to a waiting minivan, that may or may not have had a driver. The grandmother threw herself on the hood of the car. When she fell off, someone tried to run over her. That someone was either a devout Muslim or a devout Muslim’s driver.
Shamsid-Din’s father Mushin, said:
“Sometimes people get mad…they do things they don’t really mean, you know.”
I can’t imagine being a grandfather of a little one tossed over a bridge to die by my own son…but – no, we don’t get mad and throw babies off of bridges. Throwing a baby off a bridge has nothing to do with getting mad. It may have everything to do with hating…but nothing to do with being mad. I’m praying that Zara Malani-Lin Abdur-Raheem was dropped off somewhere safe…Shamsid-Din just wanting to punish the mother, but never his own child.
Shamsid-Din Abdur-Raheem pled guilty today in Superior Court in Newark to charges of kidnapping his daughter on Tuesday, Feb. 23rd.
The grandmother, the mother of Zara’s mother is Leno Benjamin.
There are conflicting reports about what happened about the father allegedly threw the baby over the bridge railing. I have reported above that he drove to a mosque and confessed to an imam, and then drove to his own father’s home.
This report says one of the two imams he visited drove “with him” to his father’s home in Sicklerville section of Winslow Township, Camden County, and the father called police and told them what his son had done.
An Atlantic City, NJ online site says, the baby’s grandmother, Leno Benjamin was actually hospitalized for a short while to tend to her injuries.
The baby’s mother, Venetta Bejamin says she is holding out hope that her daughter may still be alive:
On Thursday, she sat in court with family members beside her,
but quietly refused to speak with reporters. She maintained a calm
demeanor while waiting hours for the proceeding to start, but was
seen dabbing her eyes at various times. When Abdur-Raheem’s image
first appeared on the screen, she looked away, shaking her hand in
front of her face.
Shamsiddin Abdur-Raheem’s mother arrived about 15 minutes after his court hearing started. She said she had not been informed about her son’s arraignment.
Public defender Regina Lynch entered the not guilty plea, and
also called the $700,000 full cash bail set in Superior Court was
But Municipal Court Judge Amilkar Velez-Lopez said it was not
illegal, and that he does not have the power to alter it. Later,
Lynch said that full cash for someone without a criminal history is
There is a controversy over a Amber Alert never being issued. Reports conflict. One report says that police were busy working the assault on the grandmother and that they did not know a baby was missing at the time. Another report says authorities will look into the 4-hour gap, but that kidnappings related to custody disputes may take more time. Allegedly, Raheem threatened the mother, Vendetta Benjamin, and she filed for, and received a restraining order against the father of the child:
State police apparently had been on the cusp on issuing an Amber
Alert about 7 p.m. Tuesday – three hours after Abdur-Raheem
snatched the child from its maternal grandmother’s care in East
Orange, Essex County – when they started getting calls saying
Abdur-Raheem was going to turn himself in, Loriquet said.
The search continues for Zara Malani-Lin Abdur-Raheem.
Abdur-Raheem’s 3-month old daughter has not been found. He is charged with the attempted murder of his daughter and aggravated assault against the baby’s maternal grandmother. Shamsid-Din Abdur-Raheem is reported today to be under suicide watch. Thanks to reader wtd for the tip!
Related and Background:
Shamshiddin Abdur-Raheem Throws Baby from NJ Driscoll Parkway Bridge.