Iraqi woman attacked in California home; threat left

Reuters News
Posted: Mar 24, 2012 6:33 PM
Iraqi woman attacked in California home; threat left

By Marty Graham

EL CAJON, California (Reuters) - A mother from Iraq was gravely injured after being attacked in her home in this southern California city and left with a threatening note nearby, police said on Saturday.

Shaima Alawadi, 32, was found unconscious in the dining room of her home in El Cajon, near San Diego, on Wednesday morning by her 17-year-old daughter, said El Cajon police spokesman Lieutenant Mark Coit.

She was taken to a local trauma center, where she was not expected to survive her injuries, he added.

Coit said in a statement that during the initial stages of the investigation a threatening note was discovered "very close to where the victim was found."

"The victim's family stated they had found a similar note earlier this month, however (they) did not report it to authorities," he added.

Coit did not detail the contents of the threatening note, or say whether police were treating the attack as a hate crime.

Although police are exploring all aspects of this investigation, he said, "evidence thus far leads us to believe this is an isolated incident."

A family friend, Sura Alzaidy, told the San Diego Union Tribune newspaper the note read: "Go back to your own country. You're a terrorist."

Alzaidy told the newspaper the family had only lived in the house in El Cajon for a few weeks, after moving back to San Diego County from Michigan.

Coit asked anyone with information regarding the investigation to contact the El Cajon Police Department.

(Writing by Tim Gaynor; editing by David Bailey and Todd Eastham)