NEW YORK, NOV. 20 -- A grand jury today indicted El Sayyid Nosair, an Egyptian-born city maintenance worker and devout Moslem accused of assassinating Rabbi Meir Kahane in a Manhattan hotel Nov. 5.
Nosair allegedly shot Kahane once under the left ear with a .357 Magnum revolver at point-blank range during a question-and-answer session in a conference room, District Attorney Robert Morgenthau said in announcing the results of an investigation today.
The suspect fled the hotel, shooting a 73-year-old man in the leg, pirating a cab at gunpoint, then jumping out and firing at a U.S. Postal Service officer, who shot Nosair in the neck.
Nosair, who turned 35 last Friday in a Bellevue Hospital prison ward, has been charged with second-degree murder, second-degree attempted murder, aggravated assault of a police officer, second-degree assault, three counts of criminal possession of a weapon, reckless endangerment and coercion. The murder charge carries a maximum sentence of 25 years to life.
The Brooklyn-born Kahane founded the militant Jewish Defense League and the Kach Party, which advocates evicting Arabs from Israel and Israeli-occupied territory.
Nosair, a naturalized U.S. citizen, had been displaced as a teenager from his home in the Sinai Peninsula after the Israeli occupation there. Married to an American convert to Islam, he has three children and last lived in Cliffside Park, N.J.
Police today said they still believe that Nosair acted alone. Investigators have traced the weapon allegedly used in the incident to Raymond Murteza, a retired police officer in Waterbury, Conn., who had a federal gun dealer's license.
Employees of the High Rock shooting range in Naugatuck, Conn., told investigators that they had seen Murteza giving shooting lessons to a group of men in Arab headdress, some of whom paused several times daily to recite prayers.