In an earlier report about the death of Paul Kessler, the California man who was attacked by pro-Hamas agitators at a protest on Sunday, we noted that through our investigative work we'd identified the person we believe struck Kessler with a megaphone was a local college professor who was involved with that school's Muslim Student Association. Now we can confirm that man, Loay Alnaji, is indeed the person law enforcement officers have interviewed in connection with the case.
🧵It looks like the suspect in the attack on Paul Kessler *could* be Moorpark College professor Loay AlNaji. Photos from the scene and from his IG page. pic.twitter.com/xhCVTTGrqS— Jennifer Van Laar (@jenvanlaar) November 7, 2023
Alnaji also teaches at California State University, Northridge.
Took his class last semester and sat looking at him from that angle for 4 months— ori cohen (@orilego123) November 8, 2023
During Tuesday morning's press conference, Ventura County Sheriff Jim Fryhoff said that deputies had executed a search warrant at the home of a 50-year-old man in Moorpark who was a person of interest. Alnaji's neighbors told Daily Mail that they observed the execution of the search warrant:
‘My husband was getting home from Costco when he saw a SWAT team, six cops with rifles and full gear. Their vehicles were not police cars, they were unmarked,’ neighbor Milli Revezzo told DailyMail.com.
‘It’s shocking,’ added Revezzo, a realtor. ‘As a Moorpark resident I don’t like when anything happens here, as we’re known as one of the safest cities.’
Alnaji has a YouTube channel purportedly for his teaching, but all of the public videos are religious and many are in Arabic. He describes himself in this introduction video linked in his Ventura County Community College District profile. (Editor's note: As you can see, he has closed his YouTube account since this article was first published.)
Alnaji has three children, and his son was an officer of the Moorpark College Muslim Student Association, which the professor is also involved with; he was the faculty advisor at one point according to an internal college document RedState reviewed.
Alnaji is pictured in this Instagram story from the group, posted on January 28, 2020.
He posted a video from Shahid King Bolsen to his Instagram on October 17 in which Bolsen compared Hamas to legendary civil rights movements.
According to photographs on the group's website, Alnaji is involved with the Islamic Society of Simi Valley.
Imam Sheikh Omar Jubran is pictured at the rally in the group with Alnaji.
From the Islamic Society's website:
At least one of the men in this photo, which was found on the Islamic Society of Simi Valley's website, was with Alnaji at the demonstration.
As of this writing, Alnaji has not been arrested.