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US: Egypt-born taxi driver arrested 12 years after killing 2 daughters

17-year-old Sarah and 18-year-old daughter Amina were shot dead by their father Yaser Abdel in 2008 [Fatmahaeba/Twitter]
17-year-old Sarah and 18-year-old daughter Amina were shot dead by their father Yaser Abdel in 2008 [Fatmahaeba/Twitter]

An Egyptian-born taxi driver has been arrested for killing his two daughters in a so-called honour killing, 12 years after the crime.

In 2008 Yaser Abdel Said shot his 17-year-old daughter Sarah and 18-year-old daughter Amina 11 times after telling them he was taking them out for a meal.

He drove them to Irving in Texas where he shot them inside his taxi. Sarah managed to call the police before she died. “Oh my God, I’m dying,” she said in the recorded 911 call.

The girls were not found until one hour after the call, which led to questions over why it took so long for an emergency vehicle to reach them.

In 2014 Yaser was placed on the FBI’s Ten Most Wanted Fugitives and had a $10,000 bounty on his head.

A family member told police that Yasser had threatened both Amina and Sarah because they were in relationships with non-Muslims.

READ: Suspects in Fairmont Hotel gang rape flee Egypt

In an article for Business Insider, Amina’s boyfriend, Joseph Moreno, wrote about how she had predicted her father would kill her and that he had regularly threatened to do so.

Moreno said Yaser was controlling and would record them, either by video or audio, and wanted to arrange marriages for them with older men back in Egypt.

Amina told Moreno that her and her sister were physically and sexually abused by their father. They complained to police but their mother, Patricia Owens, pressured them to retract their statements.

Sarah was once punished by her father for smiling too much at customers in the shop she worked in, which he filmed from outside in his car.

One month before the murder, the mother took the two sisters to Oklahoma to escape from Yaser, but he called them and begged their mother to bring them home.

When they returned, he shot them.

Yaser’s son and his brother have both been arrested on charges of harbouring a fugitive.

READ: Egypt prosecution orders arrest of Fairmont Hotel rapists

Merhan Keller, a women’s rights activist who works at the Women’s Rights Organisation in San Francisco, worked along with family members and friends of Sarah and Amina to locate Yaser particularly as it was thought Yaser may have escaped the US and returned to Egypt.

In early August they launched a social media campaign, Justice for Amina and Sarah, which went viral.

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