Relatives of Mohamed Shnewer, one of six men accused of plotting to kill soldiers at Fort Dix, said yesterday that his 12-year-old sister was beaten by a boy at her middle school last month — and that school authorities told them to keep quiet.
The boy told Mr. Shnewer’s sister there was a terrorist on the loose, choked her and punched her in the face, the family said. He also told her, “Your brother is never going to come back,” according to family members, who have requested that the girl’s name not be published.
The authorities called Mr. Shnewer a Muslim radical when he was arrested in May. The relatives said that because of the attack, the girl, two of her sisters and her mother went to Jordan.
An older sister, Inas Shnewer, 19, said that the girl was badly bruised during the attack, on Sept. 19, and had a swollen cheek. Ms. Shnewer said that administrators at the school, the Carusi Middle School, in Cherry Hill, N.J., told the family to keep the beating quiet and not to contact the authorities. They said school officials showed the girl pictures from yearbooks, but she could not identify her assailant.
Lt. William Kushina of the Cherry Hill Police Department said the police were notified of the unsolved attack on Monday. That was the same day that a Muslim-rights group, the Council on American-Islamic Relations, publicized the attack. Afsheen Shamsi, a spokeswoman for the group, said that the authorities were taking the girl’s story seriously. “Our main concern is how the school handled it,” she said. (MORE)