Father and son who hired hijab-wearing female assassin for revenge killing face life sentences

12 June 2024, 06:23

Mohammed Aslam and Mohammed Nazir
Mohammed Aslam and Mohammed Nazir. Picture: West Midlands Police

By Kit Heren

A father and son who hired a female assassin wearing a hijab to shoot a man in a revenge killing plot are facing life in prison.

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Mohammed Nazir, 30, and his father Mohammed Aslam, 56, hired Chicago hitwoman Aimee Betro, 44, for a shooting in Birmingham.

But Betro's gun jammed as she tried to kill Sikander Ali outside a house in Acock's Green on September 7, 2019.

Betro, who was wearing a traditional Muslim female head covering, was parked outside the house in a Mercedes when Mr Ali pulled up, prosecuting lawyer Kevin Hegarty said.

"As he did, the would-be assassin came from the driver’s side of the Mercedes," he said.

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Mohammed Nazir
Mohammed Nazir. Picture: West Midlands Police

"As she left the Mercedes she left the driver’s door open. She walked quite calmly towards Sikander Ali and was pointing a gun at him at head height.

"As she got closer to Sikander Ali he saw her and he saw the gun and she pulled the trigger to fire the gun at him. Mercifully and luckily for him the gun jammed."

Mr Ali drove away to escape, as did Betro. She later abandoned her car and it was discovered by police.

Betro returned to the house the next day and took three shots at it, before leaving in a taxi. No one was hurt in the second shooting.

She also sent messages to Mr Ali's father Aslat Mahamud, asking: "Where are you hiding?" and telling him: "Stop playing hide and seek."

Mohammed Aslam
Mohammed Aslam. Picture: West Midlands Police

She returned to the US two days later and is still on the run.

Derby men Nazir and Aslam held a judge against Mr Ali's family because of a row at a clothes shop in 2018 that left the father and son injured.

They were convicted of conspiracy to murder. Nazir was also found guilty of of possession of a firearm with intent to cause fear of violence, illegally importing firearms and perverting the course of justice. Aslam was cleared of a firearms offence.

A West Midlands Police spokesman said: “Aslam and Nazir were determined to take revenge following a fall out where they were injured.

“The lengths they went to in trying to make sure they weren’t implicated in pulling the trigger are immense.

“However, thanks to some great police work and support from our Derbyshire colleagues, we were able to place them firmly in the middle of the attempted murder plot.

“We hope that today, after a number of years unravelling this investigation, justice has been served.

“That nobody died as a result of Aslam and Nazir’s actions is through nothing other than sheer good fortune.

“Their plan was to kill and had it not been for the gun jamming, then there is a good chance this would have been a murder investigation."

They will be sentenced on August 9.