Police in Dearborn Michigan, outside of Detroit, shot to death Imam
Abdullah, a Muslim prayer leader allegedly involved in a theft ring
that also trained children and young men in martial arts and religious hatred.
November 09, 2009
by John Chapin
Ron Scott, head of the Detroit Coalition Against Police Brutality,
said on November 2 that he is concerned about the killing of the
Muslim prayer leader, Imam Luqman Ameen Abdullah on October 28.
Abdullah, formerly known as Christopher Thomas, had led the Masjid
Al-Haqq mosque in Detroit. Abdullah was shot dead by FBI agents in
the suburban Detroit locale of Dearborn after he allegedly fired at
and killed a police dog. A federal affidavit described Abdullah, his
son, and accomplices as Islamic extremists wanted for numerous
violations of federal law, as well as operating a theft ring.
According to Scott, "We're concerned about the excessive force,"
adding "We want to see an independent investigation."
Abdullah's family said that he was shot 18 times, while the medical
examiner's office would only say he was shot multiple times. Andrew
Arena, special agent in charge of the Detroit FBI office, said agents
According to a federal affidavit, Abdullah believed he and his
followers were soldiers at war against the government and
non-Muslims. "He told his followers it is their duty to oppose the
FBI and the government and it does not matter if they die," FBI agent
Gary Leone said in an affidavit unsealed on October 28, the day of
the raid. "He also told the group that they need to plan to do
something," apparently, "violent jihad."
Abdullah and eleven others were charged with conspiring to commit
several federal crimes, including illegal possession and sale of
firearms, tampering with motor vehicle identification numbers, theft
from interstate shipments and mail fraud. Nine of the suspects are
currently in federal custody, and two others remain in Canada and are
fighting extradition to face justice in the United States. "We're not
any fake terrorists, we're the real terrorists," Abdullah once
boasted to an undercover informant, according to the affidavit.
Abdullah, a.k.a. Christopher Thomas, was a "highly placed leader" of
Ummah, a group of predominantly African-Americans converts to Islam
that seek to establish a separate sovereign state governed by Islamic
law "sharia" within the U.S., according to the affidavit. Ummah was
founded by convicted cop killer H.Rap Brown, now known as Jamil
Abdullah Al-Amin. Brown was chairman of the Student Nonviolent
Coordinating Committee in the 1960s and later became the Justice
Minister of the Black Panther Party. He is famous for saying that
"violence is as American as cherry pie", as well as "If America don't
come around, we're gonna burn it down."
In addition, according to the federal affidavit, Abdullah had several
conversations with informants and undercover agents in which he spoke
of attacking Super Bowl XL in Detroit and blowing himself up as a
final act of courage. "If they are coming to get to me, I'll just
strap a bomb on and blow up everybody."
Federal authorities have issued a warning that members of Ummah may
retaliate against law enforcement officials in Michigan and in the
Washington area due to their "close ties and staunch support of Jamil
Al-Amin." According to the federal affidavit, Abdullah regularly
encouraged his followers to arm themselves for potential
confrontations with the law. He allegedly told his followers that
police would have to shoot him before he would allow himself to be
arrested. In a 2004 sermon, Abdullah urged his followers not to
"carry a pistol if you're going to give it up to police. You give
them a bullet."
The affidavit noted Abdullah's November 2008 explanation of how to
attack a federal agent, "Trail them, follow them, know where they
house is at, and everything else. Deal with them, deal with them the
way, the way they supposed to be dealt with, man."Abdullah's
followers underwent firearms, sword fighting, and other martial arts
training in his mosque. According to the affidavit, this training was
allegedly geared toward violent confrontations against law
enforcement and street gangs.
In February 2009, Abdullah allegedly told his followers that they
should align themselves with Osama bin Laden, the Taliban and
Hezbollah. The following month, Abdullah gave an apparent follower,
who is also an FBI source, a CD described as "pro-Taliban
propaganda," according to the affidavit. Abdullah and at least one of
his followers have made derogatory statements about Jews and
Christians, the affidavit alleges. Abdullah has previously urged his
followers to cut off all ties with Jews and Christians.
Over 1,000 people attended the funeral for Abdullah on October 31.
Some of those attending called him a good man and martyr. Dawud
Walid, head of the Michigan Council on American-Islamic Relations,
said he knew Abdullah."I know him as a respected imam in the Muslim
community." One of those named in the federal affidavit, Mujahid
Carswell, who lived in Windsor Ontario the Canadian city across the
river from Detroit stated that his mosque was affiliated with CAIR.
Imam Abdullah, according to the affidavit, said of the group "They
send me all this stuff…CAIR and everybody send me all this stuff. I
get sick. I can't watch." Also according to the transcript, Abdullah
said "Obama is a Kafir, McCain …all the rest are Kuffars. You can't
make a good Kafir [into] a bad Kafir…The worst Muslim is better than
the best." CAIR has long had to defend itself against accusations
that it is affiliated with extremist Islamist organizations.
In Washington DC, Imam Abdul Alim Musa, a Muslim activist and
director of the Masjid Al-Islamin, referred to the Abdullah's killing
as an "assassination" by the federal government. In an interview with
Iran's Press TV, Musa said in reference to the federal affidavit on
Abdullah, "If you notice the government, in order to do something to
you, they have to prearrange a scenario so that they do whatever
crime that they want to commit. When they wanted to invade Iraq they
said there were weapons of mass destruction. So, this is what they
said. Although it wasn't true it justified the invasion."
Musa added, "Abdullah told his followers that if the police tried to
take his weapon or tried to apprehend him he would respond with
violence and they will have to shoot him before they can arrest him.
Ok, this is a government informer giving the government the
information that they want to justify using violent means against
Imam Luqman." The Washington DC imam continued, "So, what we are
saying is that we refer to his killing as an assassination by the
federal government. This is to intimidate the rest of the Muslim
community. The Muslims in America are under a lot of pressure and the
masjids, the Muslim centers, the community centers are full of
government infiltrators, spies, and saboteurs who try to break the
back of this wonderful Islamic movement in North America."