Saturday, November 7, 2009

200 people meet to demand justice for Detroit Imam, shot dead by FBI

Posted: 10:24 p.m. Nov. 6, 2009

"Muslim leader's shooting death discussed at Detroit town hall meeting"


About 200 metro Detroiters attended a town hall meeting Friday night in a Detroit mosque to urge unity and justice in the death of Luqman Ameen Abdullah, a Muslim leader killed last week in a shootout with FBI agents.

Speakers on a panel at the meeting expressed concerns about the use of undercover agents by the FBI in the case of Abdullah, who was head of Masjid Al-Haqq mosque in Detroit. After a two-year investigation by undercover agents, Abdullah was shot dead Oct. 28 by agents after he allegedly opened fire first, killing a police dog, according to federal officials.

"You can not become paranoid," Ron Scott, head of the Detroit Coalition Against Police Brutality, told the crowd inside the Muslim Center mosque in Detroit. "Let us not become suspicious of each other."

Dawud Walid, head of the Michigan branch of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, called for an end to the use of undercover agents inside mosques, comparing them to the COINTELPRO programs the FBI used against some African-Americans in the 1960s. Abdullah led a mosque that consisted primarily of African-Americans.

Walid said he's concerned that the use of informants can "get leadership to start fighting amongst themselves."

The FBI has said that while it does use undercover agents for legitimate investigations, it does not target any particular religion. Andrew Arena, Special Agent in Charge of the Detroit office, has said the FBI acted appropriately in the case of Abdullah. Abdullah and his followers are accused of commiting federal crimes, including dealing with stolen goods. His family denies these claims.

After the townhall meeting, money was raised for a legal defense fund to help the men who were arrested during raids in Detroit and Dearborn last week that targeted Abdullah and his followers.

Omar Regan, a son of Abdullah, said at the meeting that his father was wrongly killed and falsely accused of being an extremist by authorities. In a criminal complaint, agents describe Abdullah as a Muslim radical.

"You didn't like some things he said -- whoop dee doo," Regan said tonight. "It's freedom of speech. He can say what he wants to say."

BAIL GRANTED: A judge in Windsor granted bail Friday for two Canadian men whom U.S. authorities want extradited on charges linked to the FBI raid of Abdullah's group. Mohammad Al-Sahli, 33, and Yassir Ali Khan, 30, were placed under partial house arrest.