Man who pled guilty to Sligo murders reportedly had list of next targets

The 23-year-old who pled guilty to the murders of two Sligo men was reportedly using the dating app Grindr to contact other targets.

Man in gray shirt, Yousef Palani, walking with gardai, the Sligo suspect charged with murder will face trial in October. 
Image: Twitter @PatrioteEngager

Yousef Palani, the 23-year-old who pleaded guilty to the murders of two Sligo men, Aidan Moffitt and Michael Snee, reportedly had a list of other targets he planned to kill before he was arrested.

As reported by the Times, a special operation to protect a number of men who were presumed to be Palani’s next victims was set up by Gardaí after they concluded that their life was in immediate danger. When he began murdering in Sligo last year, Palani was allegedly in contact with several men, whom he was actively messaging through the gay dating app Grindr.

Gardaí are said to have discretely contacted the men, some of whom have families, and offered them security advice and instructions to seek help should they be approached. At the same time, the general public was advised to exercise caution when meeting up with people they met online. 



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The killer and his potential victims were both identified through the analysis of text messages sent through the dating app and other phone communications. 

In their investigation, Gardaí treated the incidents as homophobic attacks, but the killer has yet to disclose his motive for the murders of the two Sligo men. Multiple sources shared that there is no evidence that suggests that the actions were religiously inspired hate crimes or that Palani had been radicalised.

One source familiar with the case said, “He appears to have hated himself because he was a gay Muslim man. He couldn’t reconcile his religious beliefs with his own sexuality. There is no evidence to suggest he was seriously mentally ill or suffering from psychosis.”

Moreover, witnesses spoke to Gardaí about Palani’s behaviour after he killed Aidan Moffitt and Michael Snee, saying that they didn’t notice anything suspicious.

“He acted normally and even attended his local mosque after the killing as it was Ramadan. He was laughing and joking with friends afterwards when he came home,” one of them said.

Yousef Palani pleaded guilty to the murders on July 31, when he appeared before the Central Criminal Court. He has been in Castlerea Prison in Co. Roscommon since being charged in April and is awaiting trial, which is scheduled for October 23, when he will be sentenced.

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