F.B.I. Raid Kills Islamic Group Leader Near Detroit
By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
Filed at 9:07 p.m. ET
DETROIT (AP) -- Federal authorities on Wednesday arrested several members of a radical Sunni Islam group in the U.S., killing one of its leaders at a shootout in a Michigan warehouse, the U.S. attorney's office said.
Agents were trying to arrest Luqman Ameen Abdullah, 53, at a Dearborn warehouse on charges that included conspiracy to sell stolen goods and illegal possession and sale of firearms. Authorities also conducted raids elsewhere to try to round up 10 followers named in a federal complaint.
Abdullah refused to surrender, fired a weapon and was killed by gunfire from agents, FBI spokeswoman Sandra Berchtold said.
In the 43-paged complaint unsealed Wednesday, the FBI said Abdullah, also known as Christopher Thomas, was an imam, or prayer leader, of a radical group named Ummah whose primary mission is to establish an Islamic state within the United States.
No one was charged with terrorism. But Abdullah was ''advocating and encouraging his followers to commit violent acts against the United States,'' FBI agent Gary Leone said in an affidavit.
He told them it was their ''duty to oppose the FBI and the government and it does not matter if they die,'' Leone said.
Abdullah regularly preached anti-government rhetoric and was trained, along with his followers, in the use of firearms, martial arts and swords, the agent said.
Leone said members of the national group mostly are black and some converted to Islam while in prisons across the United States. (...)
Dawud Walid, executive director of the Michigan chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, said the federal authorities' description of Abdullah's extremist links didn't match what he knew of Abdullah.
''I knew him to be charitable,'' Walid said. ''He would open up the mosque to homeless people. He used to run a soup kitchen and feed indigent people. ... I knew nothing of him that was related to any nefarious or criminal behavior.''
Abdullah had a wife and children, Walid said. A phone number for the family had been disconnected.