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Muslim leader killed in US raid
Leader of group advocating Islamic law in US is shot dead during FBI operation.
Last Modified: 29 Oct 2009 11:43 GMT
The FBI raid against Abdullah and his followers was in response to a series of criminal charges

The leader of a Sunni Muslim group advocating Islamic rule in the US has been shot dead by federal agents during a raid in the city of Detroit, authorities have said.

Luqman Ameen Abdullah, 53, was killed on Wednesday during a shootout with officers from the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) at a warehouse in Dearborn, the US attorney's office said.

The FBI was pursuing Abdullah and 10 followers on charges that include conspiracy to sell stolen goods and the illegal possession and sale of firearms.

A court document said that Abdullah - also known as Christopher Thomas by the authorities - was an imam of a group whose mission is to establish Sharia (Islamic law) within the US.

Exchange of fire

"At one location, four suspects surrendered 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," the FBI statement said.

Abdullah regularly preached anti-government rhetoric and some of his supporters had converted to Islam while in prison, the FBI said.

Dawud Walid, the executive director of the Council on American-Islamic Affairs, said that members of the Muslim community were "shocked" at Abdullah's death.

"He was well-known and respected. No-one that I have talked has said that he was linked to any sort of extremist groups, overseas or here at home," he told Al Jazeera.

"I do not have any knowledge as to the veracity of the allegations [against Abduallah and his 10 followers] but if the allegations are true, what does that have to do with Islam or Muslims?

"The charges that have been filed against the 11 suspects have no relation or linkage to their religion - they are gun charges. We resent the fact that the FBI has linked religion to these gun charges."

Source:
Al Jazeera and agencies
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