Islamic leader killed in FBI raid

CHICAGO: The leader of a radical Islamic group who allegedly preached violence against the government to his mostly African American followers was shot and killed in an FBI raid near Detroit.

The FBI said it employed "special safeguards" to secure the safe arrest of 11 men accused of operating an organized crime ring in the Detroit area who were known to have "espoused the use of violence against law enforcement."

But Luqman Abdullah, 53, refused to surrender Wednesday and began firing when he was confronted in a warehouse in Dearborn, Michigan, the FBI said in a statement.

Abdullah was killed during the exchange of gunfire but nobody else was hurt, an FBI spokeswoman said.

An FBI criminal complaint described Abudullah as a "highly placed leader of a nationwide radical fundamentalist Sunni group consisting primarily of African Americans, some of whom converted to Islam while they were servicing sentences in various prisons."

The FBI monitored Abdullah for years with the help of informants who brought back taped conversations and stories of how he used the mosque to train his followers for a violent jihad.

Abdullah often boasted of killing police officers and of his plans to "take out the US government," the FBI said in a 45-page charge sheet.

He also spoke of his willingness to die for his cause and yelled in one sermon "do not carry a pistol if you're going to give it up to police. You give them a bullet," it said.

Even the children were trained in martial arts, the informants said, and evidence of a shooting range was found in the basement when the congregation was evicted by the city of Detroit for non-payment of property taxes in January.

Their primary mission was to establish a separate, sovereign Islamic state within the borders of the United States that would be ruled by their spiritual leader, former Black Panther Jamil Abdullah al-Amin, who is currently in jail for shooting two police officers.

But the charge sheet alleges Abdullah used jihad to justify stealing cars, televisions, guns, fur coats and burning down buildings for the insurance money.

Three of the 11 men accused of participating in the crime ring remain at large. They face a variety of charges including fraud, conspiracy, selling stolen goods, and illegal possession of firearms.

"Members and former members of the Masjid al-Haqq have stated they are willing to do anything Abdullah instructs and/or preaches, even including criminal conduct and acts of violence," the criminal complaint alleges.

It portrayed a paranoid and angry man with a short fuse who hated police, spoke of vast government conspiracies and was determined to fight for a "violent revolution" and kill anyone who betrayed his trust.

"We're not fake terrorists, we're the real terrorists," he allegedly told one informant after getting pulled over by the police in January.

"If they are coming to get me I'll just strap a bomb on and blow up everybody," he allegedly told followers on another occasion.