A man described as a leader of a radical Sunni Islam group was fatally shot this afternoon while resisting arrest and exchanging gunfire with federal agents, authorities said.Agents at a warehouse in Dearborn were trying to arrest Luqman Ameen Abdullah, 53, on charges that included conspiracy to sell stolen goods and illegal possession and sale of firearms. Abdullah and 10 others were listed in a criminal complaint, but it was not immediately clear how many were in custody.
He refused to surrender, fired a weapon and was killed by gunfire from agents, FBI spokeswoman Sandra Berchtold said.
In a court filing, the FBI said Abdullah, also known as Christopher Thomas, was an imam, or prayer leader, of a radical group whose primary mission is to establish an Islamic state within the United States.
“He regularly preaches anti-government and anti-law enforcement rhetoric,” FBI agent Gary Leone said in an affidavit. “Abdullah and his followers have trained regularly in the use of firearms, and continue to train in martial arts and sword fighting.”
Leone said members of the national group mostly are black and some converted to Islam while in prisons across the United States.
“Abdullah preaches that every Muslim should have a weapon, and should not be scared to use their weapon when needed,” Leone wrote.
The group believes that a separate Islamic state in the U.S. would be controlled by Jamil Abdullah Al-Amin, formerly known as H. Rapp Brown, who is serving a life sentence in a federal prison in Colorado for shooting two police officers in Georgia in 2000, Leone said.
Imad Hamad, regional director of the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee in Dearborn, said he was briefed by the FBI and told the raids were the result of a two-year investigation.
“We know that this is not something to be projected as something against Muslims,” Hamad said.
An FBI dog was also killed during the shootout, the U.S. attorney’s office said.