- On October 28, New York Times writer Nick Bunkley wrote
- "Federal agents (today) fatally shot a man they
described as the leader of a violent Sunni Muslim separatist group in Detroit."
Targeted was Luqman Ameen Abdullah "whom agents were trying to arrest
in Dearborn on charges that included illegal possession and sale of firearms
and conspiracy to sell stolen goods."
- The Times echoed FBI allegations that Abdullah "began
firing at them from a warehouse (and) was shot in the return fire...."
Ones also that he said:
- -- "America must fall;"
- -- if police tried to arrest him he'd "strap a bomb
on and blow up everybody;" and
- -- that he urged his followers to get bulletproof vests
by "shoot(ing) a cop in the head and tak(ing) their vest."
- In fact, neither happened, and no surprise. No bombs
were found or went off, and bulletproof vests are easily bought online
from web sites like bulletproofme.com, so why shoot anyone to get them.
- Post-9/11, America declared war on Islam with the FBI
in the lead at home. It notoriously targets the vulnerable, entraps them
with paid informants, inflates bogus charges, spreads them maliciously
through the media, then intimidates juries to convict and sentence innocent
men and some women to long prison terms. Justice is nearly always denied.
At times willful killings are committed. The Detroit Muslims are their
- The Muslim Community Reacts
- The Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC) "is a public
service agency working for the civil rights of American Muslims, for the
integration of Islam into American pluralism, and for a positive, constructive
relationship between American Muslims and their representatives."
Since its 1988 founding, it's become known for promoting "Mercy, Justice,
Peace, Human Dignity, Freedom, and Equality for all."
- On October 29, MPAC's Executive Director, Salam Al-Marayati
- "There is a clear and present danger in the escalating
mob mentality against vulnerable Muslim Americans."
- The organization called for an investigation into the
shooting death, saying it is "deeply disturbed" by the incident.
- So is the Muslim Alliance in North America (MANA), a
national network of masjids (mosques), Muslim organizations and individuals
committed to addressing the needs of the Muslim community. It released
a statement saying:
- "It is with deep sadness and concern that we announce
the shooting death of Imam Luqman A. Abdullah, of Masjid Al-Haqq (Detroit,
MI). Imam Luqman was a representative of the Detroit Muslim community to
the 'National Ummah' and the general assembly (Shura) of the Muslim Alliance
in North America (MANA)...."
- Ummah founder Jamil Al-Amin (aka H. Rap Brown) wanted
it to be an association of mosques in US cities to coordinate religious
and social services primarily in the black community. Calling it a "nationwide
radical fundamentalist Sunni group consisting primarily of African-Americans"
is an "offensive mischaracterization."
- Those who've worked with Imam Abdullah know him for having
"advocated for the downtrodden and always sp(eaking) about the importance
of connecting to the needs of the poor." Alleging that he and his
followers engaged in illegal activity, resisted arrest, and waged an "offensive
jihad against the American government" are "shocking and inconsistent."
- On October 30, the American Muslim Taskforce on Civil
Rights and Elections (AMT), a coalition of major national Islamic organizations,
issued this statement:
- "It is imperative that an independent investigation
of Imam Luqman Ameen Abdullah's death make public the exact circumstances
in which he died. And unless the FBI has evidence linking the criminal
allegations to the religious affiliation of the suspects, we ask that federal
authorities stop injecting religion into this case. The unjustified linkage
of this case to the faith Islam will only serve to promote an increase
in existing anti-Muslim stereotyping and bias in our society."
- AMT also urged the Congressional Tri-Causus (African-American,
Latino and Asian) to call for a judicial inquiry.
- A statement from The International Council for Urban
(Formations) Peace, Justice and Empowerment read:
- We members "are appalled by the raids on Masjid
Al-Haqq and a halal meat packing plant that left (Abdullah) dead. We are
demanding an independent investigation into this action that is clearly
the result of a climate of Islamophobia fed by law enforcement and a media
bent on sensationalism. (The FBI's) complaint and the resulting raid are
nothing more than government sponsored terrorism against a group that was
working to help the community....."
- "The inconsistencies in this investigation are glaring.
The case is based on sworn statements of informants. These informants were
convicted criminals who were paid by the federal government for their 'work.'
These criminals were used to engage and entrap law abiding citizens...."
- We "never heard Imam Abdullah make any statements
(or suggest any actions) consistent with the statements in the complaint...."
- "The FBI has stated that this was not a terrorism
case. However, the investigation was conducted by a counter terrorism unit."
- "....Masjid Al-Haqq, under the direction of Imam
Abdullah, fed the hungry, housed the homeless, worked with gangs and the
formerly incarcerated to turn a crime ridden and drug infested neighborhood
around to becoming a productive community....The most disturbing fact is
that a religious leader who reached out to his people and his community
is dead, the victim of a society that sees anyone who is different as dangerous."
- Omar Regan, Abdullah's son, led the Friday, October 30
prayers at the Al-Haqq mosque, and said the following:
- "My father was a sharp-tongued individual. He would
talk about his dislike of the government, about how law enforcement wasn't
protecting and serving the people. But speaking his emotions and acting
on (them) are two different things."
- Other community members echoed that sentiment in accusing
the FBI of heavy-handed tactics that killed Abdullah maliciously from multiple
- Abdullah El-Amin, an imam at Detroit's Muslim Center
(the city's largest black mosque), said he knew Luqman for years and never
heard him talk about wanting a separate Muslim state, just something "like
the Pennsylvania Dutch have (with) their own communities and stuff."
- He and about 20 other Detroit imams attended an October
29 meeting with US Attorney Terrence Berg and FBI Special Agent Andrew
Arena at which they charged the Agency with entrapping Abdullah, then killing
him in cold blood. One informant, they said, was a former Abdullah follower
with a criminal past, and he and the others "came to a place where
people are not getting social security, unemployment. They had nothing,"
so could easily be manipulated to sell stolen items they provided.
- Dawud Walid, Executive Director of the Michigan chapter
of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) said:
- "The very incendiary rhetoric that the FBI alleges,
I never heard that from (Abdullah). There was nothing extraordinary about
him....I knew him as a respected imam in the Muslim community....I knew
him to be charitable. 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."
- Walid added:
- "Is this the kind of excessive force that we black
Americans are all too familiar with?" He also questioned using informants
he called "agent provocateurs" who entice law-abiding people
- Other community members believe Abdullah was maliciously
targeted, that the FBI likely initiated gunfire, and if he shot back it
was in self-defense.
- Even the FBI's complaint admitted that whatever alleged
crimes were planned or committed, they were minor and inconsequential.
Hardly offenses warranting a high-profile raid, shoot-out, and political
- Department of Justices Allegations
- On October 28, a Department of Justice (DOJ) press release
headlined: "Eleven Members/Associates of Ummah Charged with Federal
Violations - One Subject Fatally Shot During Arrest." The FBI and
US Attorney for the Eastern District of Michigan, Terrence Berg, charged:
- "Luqman Ameen Abdullah, aka Christopher Thomas,
and 10 others with conspiracy to commit several federal crimes, including
theft from interstate shipments, mail fraud to obtain the proceeds of arson,
illegal possession and sale of firearms, and tampering with motor vehicle
identification numbers. 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.."
- Those charged were "believed to be armed and dangerous
(so) special safeguards were employed by law enforcement to secure the
arrests without confrontation. During the arrests today, the suspects were
ordered to surrender. At one location, four (did) and were arrested without
incident. Luqman Ameen Abdullah did not surrender and fired his weapon.
An exchange of gun fire followed and Abdullah was killed."
- "Abdullah was the leader of part of a group which
calls themselves Ummah ('the brotherhood'), 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 (life) sentence (without
parole) in USP Florence, CO, ADMAX (supermax), for the murder of two police
officers in Georgia."
- In the US District Court for the Eastern District of
Michigan, a criminal complaint named:
- -- Luqman Ameen Abdullah (aka Christopher Thomas);
- -- Mohammad Abdul Bassir (aka Franklin D. Roosevelt Williams);
- -- Muhammad Abdul Salaam (aka Muhammad Addul Salam; aka
Gregory Stone; aka Gun Man; aka Norman Shields);
- -- Abdul Saboor (aka Swayne Edward Davis);
- -- Muhahid Carswell (aka Muhahid Abdullah, Luqman's son);
- -- Abdullah Beard (aka Detric Lamont Driver);
- -- Mohammad Philistine (aka Mohammad Palestine; aka Mohammad
- -- Yassir Ali Khan;
- -- Adam Hussain Ibraheem;
- -- Garry Laverne Porter (aka Mujahid); and
- -- Ali Abdul Raqib.
- At the time of the raid, three of the men were still
at large - Mujahid Carswell (Abdullah's son), Mohammad Philistine and Yassir
Ali Khan. However, Windsor, Ontario police announced the arrest of Carswell
the next day, and on October 31, they arrested Philistine and Ali Khan.
- The unsealed complaint charged Abdullah with "espous(ing)
the use of violence against law enforcement, (and) train(ing) members of
his group in the use of firearms and martial arts in anticipation of some
type of action against the government." It said "Abdullah and
other members of this group were known to carry firearms and other weapons."
- According to FBI Counter-Terrorism Squad Special Agent
Gary Leone, a "confidential source" (aka paid informant) called
S-2 provided "reliable and credible" information, "independently
corroborated by other sources, and by consensual recordings he has made
with the members of The Ummah at the direction of the FBI."
- In a "surreptitiously" recorded December 12,
2007 conversation, "S-2 told Abdullah he had asked to donate $5,000
to pay to have someone 'do something' during the 2006 Super Bowl in Detroit.
Abdullah said he would not be involved in injuring innocent people for
no reason: 'If there's something to be done....it (has) to be legitimate.'
- He then allegedly said...."things are coming....I
got some violence (in me) because of what they did to Imam Jamil (H. Rap
Brown)....I got some stuff, man, 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,' they would do it."
- Leone said this and other recordings "confirm(ed)
by (another paid informant) S-1 (showed) that Abdullah and his followers
view themselves as soldiers at war against the United States government,
and against non-Muslims," yet nothing in his above statement says
that, so charges amount to putting FBI allegations in the mind of a dead
man, unable to refute them.
- The DOJ presented no evidence of a plot, a crime, or
intent to commit one.
- The FBI used three paid informants for over two years.
On October 10, 2008, the third, S-3, allegedly recorded Abdullah saying:
- "We have to cut the ties to (Christians, Jews, and
the Kuffar (infidels). You cannot please them until you follow their religion....Obama
is a Kafir (infidel, non-Muslim, an insulting term for any African American)....the
premise of Allah and Islam (is) 'the worst Muslim is better than the best
Kafir....we should be trying to figure out how to fight the Kuffar....Washington
is trying to stop everything we do....they are my enemy, and I should be
trying to plot as to how to make moves to get some things accomplished....(we)
need to plan to do something."
- These and other recordings show anger, not intent to
commit crimes. Yet that's what the DOJ alleges. Saying "We are going
to have to fight against the Kafir" suggests resistance against a
hostile state. Even stronger statements, allegedly recorded, aren't hard
evidence of planned violence against the FBI, other federal agents, or
- In its October 28 press release, the DOJ acknowledged
that the above criminal complaint "is only a charge and is not evidence
of guilt. A trial cannot be held on felony charges in a complaint. When
the investigation is completed a determination will be made whether to
seek a felony indictment." Yet the FBI killed Abdullah, allegedly
in a shoot-out with only its account for proof, an Agency notorious for
political assassinations and twisting facts to make its case.
- Imam Umar Responds
- In a widely distributed message, an Imam Umar wrote:
- "The FBI ups the ante. They set up Imam Luqman of
Detroit and murdered him. We know him and the community he comes from.
This is no terrorist trap. This was part criminal sting and when the Imam
and his brothers peeped the tricks of the FBI, they lured him to a warehouse
and killed him. Now they accuse Imam Jamil (H. Rap Brown) who has been
in prison for the past ten years as leader of this group. He is an easy
target. A lone Imam with the FBI was also an easy target. The FBI is not
only tricky and devious....they are extremely dangerous thugs and murderers."
- A follow-up message added:
- "The FBI is known for their murderous tactics all
over the world. When they are given an assignment they use every imaginative
strategy to accomplish their goal. When they were under J. Edgar Hoover,
he found various ways to discredit Martin Luther King....They turned the
Black Stone Rangers against the Black Panthers in Chicago that (caused)
the death of the (BPP) leaders. They got the Huey P. Newton and Eldredge
Cleaver factions to kill one another. They have gone after the so-called
terrorists with one phony case after another. They first went after immigrants,
decimating their numbers in America. Now they are after African American
Muslims. Next will most likely be the support groups of mostly white people....These
FBI devils are very shrewd and their evil spreads....The murder of a good
Muslim will only make it more dangerous to live in America. They know that
black people sooner or later will fight back."
- "The Ummah is not a 'brotherhood,' it is the Arabic
word for 'community.' This group setting up a Muslim state? What a joke.
They can hardly set up an annual conference. This information is to cause
fear....to cause backlash against Muslims....Let the FBI continue with
their tricks, lies and murder. Before long, everyone will see through their
veil and they will become the target."
- Imam Jamil Al-Amin, Formerly Known as H. Rap Brown
- Born Hubert Gerold Brown, he became famously known as
H. Rap Brown, a 1960s civil rights activist, social commentator, and chairman
of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (succeeding Stokely Carmichael)
where he distinguished himself as a charismatic leader and effective organizer.
In 1968, he was named minister of justice for the Black Panther Party for
Self-Defense that strove for ethnic justice, racial emancipation, and real
economic, social, and political equity across gender and color lines.
- As a result, he was targeted by federal and state authorities,
charged with inciting a riot in Maryland, violating the National Firearms
Act, and illegally crossing state lines to skip bail. During his 1970 firearms
trial, he disappeared for 17 months and was placed on the FBI's "Ten
Most Wanted" list. In late 1971, he reemerged after being arrested
and falsely charged with armed robbery in Manhattan. Convicted, he served
five years in Attica State Prison.
- While there, he converted to Islam and changed his name
to Jamil Abdullah Al-Amin. After release, he started an Atlanta mosque
and operated a small grocery store and community center. Then in 2000,
he was charged with murdering a black police officer and injuring his partner
in a gun battle outside his store.
- In 2002, he was tried, and despite strong evidence of
his innocence, was convicted on 13 counts, including murder, aggravated
assault, obstruction, and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon,
and sentenced to life imprisonment with no possibility of parole.
- At trial, his lawyers argued for a case of mistaken identity,
claimed prosecutors were out to get him for decades, and presented a strong
defense in his behalf, including:
- -- his fingerprints weren't on the murder weapon;
- -- he wasn't wounded in the incident even though the
arresting deputy said he shot the assailant;
- -- he also identified his eyes as gray; Al-Amin's are
- -- his attire didn't match clothing the shooter wore;
- -- blood found at the scene was discounted and unchecked;
- -- potentially exculpatory evidence relating to the sheriff's
vehicle was either lost or destroyed;
- -- a man named Otis Jackson confessed to the crime; it
was ignored, never introduced at trial, days later Jackson recanted, and
the defense team never got a chance to interview him; and
- -- withheld evidence and proceedings were so controversial
that observers believed Brown was convicted pre-trial for his civil rights
activism and conversion to Islam; he was clearly a targeted man;
- It became clearer when the Georgia Supreme Court agreed
that the prosecution committed a grave constitutional error when, in closing
arguments, the assistant district attorney directed jurors to consider
posed questions relating to Al-Amin's failure to present testimony or evidence.
Nonetheless, the Court upheld the verdict.
- Afterward, his legal team filed a habeas corpus writ
citing gross irregularities, including:
- -- not investigating Otis Jackson's confession;
- -- denying a change of venue due to negative publicity;
- -- prohibiting Al-Amin from testifying in his own defense;
- -- eliminating Muslims from the jury pool;
- -- dismissing three of his four trial lawyers;
- -- prohibiting potentially exculpatory evidence from
- -- denying favorable testimony in his behalf;
- -- withholding discovery from the defense team;
- -- denying them a chance to cross-examine an FBI agent
relating to his prior misconduct against a Muslim, his misleading and false
testimony, and charges that he tampered with evidence; and
- -- inflammatory media reports during trial, portraying
Al-Amin as a radical extremist.
- A Final Comment
- As a nationally known civil rights champion and Islamic
leader, Al-Amin was a prime FBI COINTELPRO target, the agency's infamous
counterintelligence program against political activists, legitimate dissent,
independent thought, and non-violent opposition to the Vietnam war, and
racial and social injustice.
- It continues today against men like Abdullah, his followers,
and dozens more like them for their faith, ethnicity, race, activism, prominence,
and opposition to government injustice at the wrong time to be Muslim in
- According to an Islamic Human Rights Commission (IHRC)
December 2007 report on Al-Amin titled, "Prisoners of Faith Campaign
Pack," many thousands of "Muslim prisoners of faith around the
world" are being held in Muslim and non-Muslim countries, including
politicians, human rights activists, students, writers, and others with
"one thing in common:" their adherence "to the Islamic belief
and way of life."
- They're portrayed as "terrorists, inciters of religious
hatred or of even trying to change the constitution of the country"
where they live. They're vilified and denied their civil rights. In custody,
they're neglected, brutalized, tortured, and forgotten as non-persons.
As one of them, Al-Amin once said:
- "For more than thirty years, I have been tormented
and persecuted by my enemies for reasons of race and belief....I seek truth
over a lie; I seek justice over injustice; I seek righteousness over the
rewards of evil doers; and I love ALLAH more than I love the state."
- For others like him, their struggle for equity, social
justice, and mutual understanding persists against hostile government oppression.
In America as much as anywhere. Its tradition continues.
- Stephen Lendman is a Research Associate of the Centre
for Research on Globalization. He lives in Chicago and can be reached at <mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org>email@example.com.
- Also visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com and
listen to The Global Research News Hour on RepublicBroadcasting.org Monday
- Friday at 10AM US Central time for cutting-edge discussions with distinguished
guests on world and national issues. All programs are archived for easy