Saudi student left in coma after brutal US attack

Saudi student left in coma after brutal US attack
2 min read
15 January, 2017
A student from Saudi Arabia has been badly hurt in a vicious assault in the US, while another American man was arrested suspected of murdering a Saudi student last year.
Attacks on Saudi students in the US have raised fears about hate crimes [AFP]

A Saudi student is in a coma following an attack by unknown assailants in the southern US state of Kentucky.

Mohammed Zaid al-Fadeel was driving his car when he was attacked, his father told the Makkah Arabic daily on Saturday.

He added that his son was struck with a hard object to the head, which caused internal bleeding.

The victims's father believes that the attack may have been racially motived, particularly due to the state's strong leanings towards Donald Trump.

Trump has stirred xenophobic and anti-Muslim sentiment in the US during his campaign to become president.

Alternatively, the Saudi student may have been targeted because he had purchased a new car, he added.

Elsewhere this week, US prosecutors charged 27-year-old Cullen M. Osborne with murder and battery in relation to the fatal beating of another Saudi student last Halloween.

The Minnesotan was arrested late Thursday over the killing of Hussain Saeed Alnahdi, 24, a student at the University of Wisconsin-Stout.

Alnahdi died of traumatic brain injury one day after being beaten outside a pizzeria.

The student's death led to raised concerns in the small Mid-western town of Menomonie over whether the attack was racially motivated.

Investigators, however, have said that they "do not believe the assault was a hate crime", according to NBC News.

According to official US figures from December 2016, the number of Saudi students studying on government scholarships in the United States declined by nearly a third.

While racist attacks suffered by some Saudi students have been cited as a reason for students to drop US universities from their consideration, the main cause of the decline seems to be changes and cuts in government funding to the foreign scholarship programme.