Palestinian Muslim 'activist' charged with murder of wife, 3 daughters in Chicago suburb

The family was described as "devout Muslims and Palestinian activists" by friends.


Maher Kassem, a Palestinian activist and devout Muslim, has been charged with three counts of murder in the killing his wife and their three daughters in Tinley Park, Illinois.

Majeda Kassem, 53, Hanan Kassem, 24, and 25-year-old twins Halema and Zahia Kassem were shot to death in the family home in the town about 30 miles southwest of Chicago

The family was described as "devout Muslims and Palestinian activists" by friends, according to the Daily Mail.

According to the Tinley Park Police Department, the incident took place just before 11:30 am on the 7400 block of 173rd Place. Dispatchers received a 911 call from a man inside the home, and officers arrived on scene a short time later.

Upon entering, they discovered the four women, all of whom were pronounced dead. A firearm was recovered from the home during the ensuing investigation.

According to ABC7, neighbors described the victims as "very intelligent," adding that they "had very high goals in life."

In a press conference Monday morning, Police Chief Tom Tilton announced that authorities were working hard to find the facts in what has turned out to be a "very complex investigation." 

He did, however, make a point of noting that the family had never had any interaction with the police prior to the deadly domestic violence incident that police say resulted in Kassem boiling over in a fit of rage.

Itedal Shalabi of the Arab American Family Services revealed that the family was Muslim of Palestinian descent.

This is a developing story and will be updated.

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