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The Illinois landlord who stabbed a six-year-old Muslim boy to death in a heinous hate crime had become paranoid about Israel’s conflict with Hamas , and thought the boy’s Palestinian parents were going to call their friends to ‘come and harm him’, a court heard today. Joseph Czuba (pictured left), 71, is charged with murdering six-year-old Wadea Al-Fayoume in Plainfield, Illinois, on Saturday morning. Wadea (pictured right) was stabbed 26 times and his mother, Hanaan Shahin, was stabbed over a dozen times, after allegedly screaming ‘You Muslims must die!’

Czuba appeared in court today in a red prison jumpsuit with matted hair. He was denied bail after being arraigned on charges including first degree murder, attempted murder and aggravated assault. At the hearing, prosecutors described how Czuba had become paranoid about the ‘day of jihad’ that Hamas leaders called for on Friday, October 13th.

When no attacks occurred, his wife says he became even more frightened that one would in the following days. He withdrew $1,000 in cash from the bank, claiming ‘the grid’ was going to go down, and became increasingly worried as he listened to radio coverage of the war in Israel and Gaza.

His wife told police he thought he was in danger and that Shahin ‘was going to call Palestinian friends to come and harm them.’ The attack happened shortly before noon on Saturday.

According to the boy’s mother, Czuba – who rented them a room in his home – appeared at the door and first tried to choke her. She ran inside, calling 911. He followed with a military-grade, serrated knife that he used to stab Wadea 26 times.

The boy’s mother was also stabbed a dozen times. Police arrived to find Czuba sitting outside the property, upright.

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