On October 28, 2009, the FBI tried to arrest Imam Luqman Ameen Abdullah in Dearborn. A shoot-out ensued killing a police dog and Abdullah, and immediately the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) and other Muslim Brotherhood-tied groups denounced the FBI and called for an independent investigation. Three reviews have now cleared the four FBI agents involved, but CAIR is still trying to portray the incident as the murder of an innocent man.
CAIR quickly jumped at the opportunity to make the Muslim community think that FBI agents would be so reckless they would open fire on a respectable imam. CAIR, the Muslim Public Affairs Council, and the American-Muslim Taskforce all demanded an independent probe. The Executive-Director of CAIR-Michigan, Dawud Walid, said Abdullah was “charitable” and defended his integrity.
“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 has related to any nefarious or criminal behavior,” Walid said. He said this despite the fact that Abdullah had been arrested in 1979 for assaulting a police officer and resisting arrest and convicted in 1981 for felonious assault and carrying a concealed weapon.
The FBI’s case against Abdullah showed he was nothing less than a hardcore militant jihadist. Abdullah led an African-American “nationwide radical fundamentalist Sunni group” called Ummah that included some prison converts. The spiritual leader of the group is Jamil Abdullah Al-Amin, formerly known as H. Rap Brown, who used to be a leader in the Black Panthers and is currently in jail for shooting two police officers, killing one. CAIR raised money for al-Amin’s legal expenses.
According to the federal affadavit, Abdullah called “on his followers to an offensive jihad, rather than a defense jihad. He regularly preaches anti-government and anti-law enforcement rhetoric.” The goal of the group is to establish Muslim enclaves that exercise independence from the United States government under the leadership of al-Amin. The ultimate aim of this effort is to bring down the government and replace it with Sharia law. Abdullah and his followers trained in martial arts, firearms use, and sword fighting at his mosque and members were encouraged to arm themselves for this cause.
“Abdullah preaches that every Muslim should have a weapon, and not be scared to use their weapon when needed,” the document says. Abdullah’s son, who was arrested in Ontario, trained about 60 youth in martial arts at the mosque. Abdullah and members of his group, eleven of which were also charged, are alleged to have abused the children at the mosque, beating one boy with a stick so much that he couldn’t walk for days. The FBI’s evidence includes intelligence provided by three confidential sources that the agency says have proven their credibility and recorded Abdullah and some of his associates voicing their violent intentions.
In one 2004 sermon, Abdullah preached about fighting law enforcement. “Police, so what? Police die too! Feds die too!” he is recorded as saying. He also consistently told his colleagues that if the FBI came to arrest him, he’d open fire on them—just as the FBI agents say happened and CAIR denies.
Abdullah’s plan for violence wasn’t a one-man mission. He was training his followers to join him in the war against the U.S. government and was raising a miniature militia. He even had a security force called the “Sutra team.” When authorities searched the apartment of two Ummah members after they were evicted, they found two guns, about 40 knives and martial arts weaponry that had originally come from Abdullah’s apartment inside his mosque. The mosque was then searched and empty shell casings and bullet holes in a firing range were found.
Abdullah preached that there were only Muslims and non-Muslims and that “we should be figuring out how to fight the kuffar.” “We got to take out the U.S. government. The U.S. government is nothing but kuffars,” he says in another recording. He ruled out peaceful methods of accomplishing this, saying “You cannot have a non-violent revolution.” On February 7, 2009, he preached that Muslims should fight alongside the Taliban, Hezbollah and Osama Bin Laden. He even said in November 2008 that FBI agents should be stalked so that the group can “deal with them.”
The confidential informants’ recordings show that Abdullah was actively planning acts of violence, not just advocating them. He asked one source for help in learning how to make TNT and on June 19, 2009, told a source that he needed a bomb for use in Washington. This violence was also aimed at people who had run-ins with members of Ummah. On one occasion, a source saw that Abdullah was wearing a bulletproof vest. Abdullah said that an incident had happened with people who did not belong to the mosque but that “one of the brothers” handled them. Abdullah and a colleague then searched for those that had crossed them and his partner pointed a gun at a van but lowered it when he realized those inside it weren’t those they were targeting.
Three reviews by the Dearborn Police Department, the Office of the Attorney General of Michigan, and the Civil Rights Division of the Justice Department all cleared the FBI agents of wrongdoing. The agents confirmed that they only fired when Abdullah pointed his gun at the dog that died from three shots from his Glock 9mm gun. The investigations concluded that Abdullah fired first, although one agent says he was the one to start firing when the gun was raised. Whatever the truth may be, the FBI agents had to use lethal force when Abdullah raised his weapon to resist arrest.
CAIR though, is sticking to their line that the FBI agents are essentially guilty of manslaughter if not outright murder. The organization’s YouTube channel still hosts a video claiming Abdullah’s innocence and foul play by the government. Dawud Walid says that the investigations are “insufficient and incomplete and…they concluded their investigation prematurely.”
“There is no forensic evidence to corroborate that he had a gun to begin with,” Walid says. “Even if he did have a gun, we do know that the dog was basically on top of him and biting him. If he did shoot him, it was at point blank.”
If Abdullah was unarmed and/or tried to surrender, as CAIR maintains, then that means the FBI agents decided to kill a cooperative Muslim leader in cold blood. The message CAIR and its allies are sending is one of complete demonization of the FBI agents and the agency as a whole for covering it up.
The implication that there is systematic persecution of American-Muslims or a war on Islam by the U.S. government helped motivate Abdullah in his militancy.
“CAIR and everybody send me all this stuff. I get sick. I can’t watch…I got some soldiers with me…Brothers that I know would, you know, if I say ‘Let’s go, we going to go and do something,” Abdullah once said.
The FBI agents are victims of the political agenda of CAIR and its Muslim Brotherhood-tied cohorts. The fact that CAIR would reflexively defend a man like Abdullah and provide him an undeserved benefit of the doubt in the face of incriminating evidence while denying the FBI the same courtesy sheds light on CAIR’s objective. For CAIR, this is just another case to use to frighten their Muslim constituency into supporting them.