A Detroit imam, described by authorities as an advocate of "violent jihad" against the U.S. government and law enforcement, has been killed in a shootout with federal agents.
Luqman Ameen Abdullah, imam of Masjid Al-Haqq in Detroit, was shot on October 28, 2009, after firing at agents trying to arrest him and other members of his group on various federal charges.
Abdullah, 53, and eleven others, including his son, 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 at large.
Abdullah, a.k.a. Christopher Thomas, was a "highly placed leader" of Ummah, a group of predominantly African-American converts to Islam that seek to establish a separate sovereign state governed by Islamic law within the U.S., according to the affidavit.
The group's apparent leader is Jamil Abdullah Al-Amin, who is currently serving a life sentence for killing a police officer and injuring another in Georgia in 2000. After converting to Islam in prison, Al-Amin, a former leader of the Black Panthers known as H. Rap Brown, reportedly formed Ummah out of a group known as Dar-Ul.
Federal authorities 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."
Abdullah regularly encouraged his followers to arm themselves for potential confrontations with law enforcement, according to the affidavit. He also allegedly told his followers that police will have to shoot him before he allows 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 also outlines 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, martial arts and sword fighting 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 the Jews and allegedly stated that he, his followers and God hate the Jews.