Here is an update to yesterday's shoot-out in Detriot. Unfortunately I am not talking about a hockey game there.
FBI kills leader of radical Muslims; 12 charged
BY BEN SCHMITT, NIRAJ WARIKOO AND ROBIN ERB
The leader of a local mosque who authorities also are calling the head of an Islamic fundamentalist group was killed in a shootout with federal agents this afternoon during a series of raids that resulted in charges against a dozen men.
Luqman Ameen Abdullah, 53, leader of the Masjid Al-Haqq mosque in Detroit, is accused in a federal complaint of heading a Sunni Muslim group with a mission of establishing a separate Islamic nation within the United States.
Abdullah, also known as Christopher Thomas, was gunned down after firing on officers as the FBI raided a Dearborn warehouse, the U.S. Attorney's Office said. An FBI canine also was fatally shot. Raids also were conducted in Detroit.
"The eleven defendants are members of a group that is alleged to have engaged in violent activity over a period of many years and known to be armed," a joint statement from the FBI and U.S. Attorney's Office said.
A 12th man was arrested late Wednesday in connection with the investigation. Three of the men charged were at large Wednesday night.
Abdullah and the others were charged with conspiracy to commit several federal felony crimes, including illegal possession and sale of firearms and theft from interstate shipments.
Abdullah spoke of attacking Super Bowl XL
Abdullah believed he and his followers were soldiers at war against the government and non-Muslims.
"Abdullah 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 today. "He also told the group that they need to plan to do something."
Abdullah, 53, of Detroit stayed true to his word as armed FBI agents raided a Dearborn warehouse at Michigan Avenue and Miller. Authorities said he refused to surrender, opened fire and then died in a shootout in which an FBI dog also was killed.
Agents also raided two Detroit homes in the 4400 block of Tireman and the 9200 block of Genessee. The affidavits and returns for those warrants were sealed today.
The U.S. Attorney's Office and the FBI in Detroit unsealed a 43-page document describing a sinister, radical fundamentalist group headed by Abdullah. The document notes conversations he had with undercover agents and federal informants that ranged from talking about attacking Super Bowl XL in Detroit to 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," he said in a March 21, 2008, conversation.
Federal officials said Abdullah was the leader of a group that calls itself "Ummah, a group of mostly African-American converts to Islam, which seeks to establish a separate Sharia-law governed state within the United States."
"The Ummah is ruled by Jamil Abdullah Al-Amin, formerly known as H. Rap Brown, who is serving a state sentence ... for the murder of two police officers in Georgia." Brown came to prominence in the 1960s as a leader of the Black Panther Party.
"He regularly preaches antigovernment and antilaw enforcement rhetoric," Leone said of Abdullah in the affidavit. "Abdullah and his followers have trained regularly in the use of firearms and continue to train in martial arts and sword fighting."
Why Abdullah and his followers chose Detroit as their haven remains unknown, Detroit FBI spokeswoman Sandra Berchtold said today.
Authorities said none of the charges levied today are terrorist-related. Abdullah and 11 suspects were charged with felonies including illegal possession and sale of firearms, mail fraud to obtain the proceeds of arson, theft from interstate shipments and tampering with motor vehicle identification numbers.
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