The Hatewatch blog is managed by the staff of the Intelligence Project of the Southern Poverty Law Center, an Alabama-based civil rights organization.

Man Killed in FBI Shootout Said to Lead Terror Cell

By Sonia Scherr on November 6, 2009 - 8:28 am, Posted in Muslim Extremism

A Detroit man fatally shot last week by FBI agents was a high-ranking leader of a nationwide separatist group that advocated violence and denigrated Christians, Jews and other non-Muslims, according to an FBI complaint.

Luqman Ameen Abdullah (also known as Christopher Thomas), 53, was killed during a government raid on Oct. 28 when he refused to surrender and fired his weapon, according to an FBI news release. A convicted felon, Abdullah helped lead what the FBI characterized as a “radical fundamentalist Sunni group” called Ummah (“the brotherhood”). The group consists mostly of African Americans, some of whom converted to Islam while in prison. Its main goal is to create a sovereign state within America’s borders that would be governed by Islamic law and ruled by Jamil Abdullah Al-Amin (the former H. Rapp Brown), who’s serving a life sentence for murdering two police officers in Georgia. Abdullah was among 11 men linked to Ummah who were charged with conspiracy to commit an array of federal crimes, including theft from interstate shipments and illegal possession and sale of firearms.

Last week’s raid followed the eviction in January of Ummah members from their former mosque after they failed to pay property taxes. Inside that building, Detroit police found two firearms, roughly 40 knives and martial arts weapons, empty shell casings, and a concrete wall that had served as a shooting range.

Abdullah’s death led to criticism from several Muslim groups who say he was not the violent extremist that the FBI claimed. More than 1,000 people attended Abdullah’s funeral on Saturday at Detroit’s Muslim Center, where some speakers demanded an investigation into the shooting. Abdullah was imam (leader) of the Masjid Al-Haqq mosque in Detroit, which called the FBI allegations “utterly preposterous,” according to The Associated Press.

Though Abdullah was not charged with terrorism, the 43-page complaint filed in federal court stated that he routinely preached against the federal government and law enforcement. Abdullah’s adherents often carried firearms and received training in their use, even though many were convicted felons. Confidential sources recorded statements by Abdullah indicating that “[he] and his followers view themselves as soldiers at war against the United States government, and against non-Muslims,” the complaint said. Among the alleged statements:

•    In February 2008, Abdullah said his followers must oppose the federal government, even if they die. He also praised Muslim suicide bombers.

•    During an August 2008 conversation with an FBI source, Abdullah stated the U.S. government controls everything. “We got to take out the U.S. government,” he said. “The U.S. government is nothing but Kuffars” — a derogatory term for non-Muslims. He added: “You cannot have a nonviolent revolution.”

•    While praying at the mosque in October 2008, Abdullah said Muslims needed to “cut the ties” with Christians, Jews and Kuffars. “The worst Muslim is better than the best Kafir,” he said (Kafir is the singular form of Kuffar). “We should be trying to figure out how to fight the Kuffar.”

•    In November 2008, Abdullah said he believed that the FBI perpetrated the Oklahoma City and the first World Trade Center bombings with the aim of blaming Muslims for the attacks.

•    In February 2009, Abdullah asked an FBI source to teach him how to make Trinitrotoluene (an explosive). In March, Abdullah gave the source a CD that the source characterized as “pro-Taliban propaganda.”

•    In May 2009, Abdullah preached that the group “hates[s] the Jews and that God hates the Jews,” the complaint said.

Abdullah met with followers in other cities, including Montgomery, Ala., and Gainesville, Ga. His longtime associate, Mohammad Abdul Bassir (also known as Franklin D. Roosevelt Williams), often served as Abdullah’s bodyguard during these trips, carrying a weapon even though he was a convicted felon, according to the complaint. Bassir, 50, blamed the U.S. government, President Bush and Jews for mistreating Muslims and discussed Sept. 11 conspiracy theories. “Bassir said brothers need to stick together and be willing to die for the cause, and blood needs to be shed in order to change things,” the complaint said. He’s currently serving a two-year prison sentence in Michigan.

An FBI source also saw Abdullah’s oldest son, 30-year-old Mujahid Carswell (also known as Mujahid Abdullah), beat young children with a stick while teaching them martial arts, the complaint said. Another source observed Luqman Abdullah “discipline children inside the mosque by beating them with sticks on their hands, knees and legs, until they were covered with bruises, including a boy Abdullah beat so badly with sticks that he was unable to walk for several days.”

  • Tim

    So, since the SPLC classifies Islam (a religion, which is founded on a specific set of beliefs) as a race, it could be safe to assume that political beliefs could potentially be considered as a “race” one day, right?

    If that’s the case, when will the SPLC put itself on its own “hate map”? :P

    You ALL are smarter than ALL of us? What are you basing that on? Facts, or pure emotion as you ALL have proven to base everything else on?

  • Snorlax

    Chris said, “You liberals are brilliant. Absolutely freakin’ brilliant.”

    Thank you for admitting it.

    Yes, it IS true that we are smarter than you Repukes.

    After all, you elected an idiot Chimp twice. He lied to start the wrong war, set up a torture gulag, allowed his top staffers to treasonously “out” the CIA, and wrecked our economy by doubling the federal debt and sending our jobs offshore.

    Meanwhile, you all get your “facts” from a junkie and a pervert. You have a hypocritical double standard of morality.

    You’re the double-digit side of the IQ curve in the US.

    Yes, we ARE smarter than you. And you know it.

  • Snorlax

    Funny thing about the word “kaffir” that some Muslims use as a bigoted hate word against non-Muslims…

    The word “kaffir” was also used by racist white South Africans to describe people of color. Like many Muslims.

    Maybe they could shout “kaffir” at each other. As if that might change anything or make anybody happy.

    Racism is an equal opportunity employer.

  • Snorlax

    The Klan Nazi wingnuts in here are constantly claiming that the SPLC is bigoted because it only calls white supremacist groups racist.

    This disproves that lie. The SPLC keeps track of ALL dangerous groups they find, not just the rednecks.

    The SPLC has black seperatists and other minority groups on their list along with the white ones.

    Once again, you Reich Wingnuts prove conclusively that you are liars and racists. You have no business in here.

  • Snarla

    Not that this is even slightly important, but “ummah” does not mean “brotherhood.” It means “nation,” and refers to the body of Muslims all over the world.

    BTW, the only witness to claim that Hasan shouted “allahu akbar” now says he doesn’t know if that actually happened.

    “I was sitting in about the second row back when the assailant stood up and yelled ‘Allahu akbar’ in Arabic and he opened fire,” Foster said Monday on CNN’s “American Morning.”

    Foster, 21, said he wasn’t clear about whether the gunman said those exact words, noting that “with that much adrenaline, you tend to forget things.”

  • GENO

    Its very very unlikely that such an egregiously created “Islamic State” will ever be surface “within the borders of the U.S.” Its never gonna happen. Not in my lifetime, anyway. One has to be a dwelleth in La-La Land to assume this.

  • Ruslan Amirkhanov

    Hey there Chris, were you aware that the vast majority of American domestic terrorists are not Muslim? Rather their beliefs are described as conservative, Christian, libertarian, etc.?

  • Tezuka fan

    I think he yelled out Allahu Akbar (Arabic for “God is great”) because he felt for sure that he was going to be killed there on the spot, sort of like a self-administered last rites. Like when people say the Lord’s Prayer when they’re about to do something that may get them killed (suicide mission).

    I have no idea where I’m going with this…

  • Carter

    Frankly I think this has less to do with politics per se’ than it does the West’s desire (all to often) to find reason for pathological actions. What’s more it doesn’t matter who commits such actions, they should be stopped from ever repeating them!
    Young men were excused from murders in the past and served as little as five to seven years of prison time due to age. When released, they murdered again and again. We continued to “try and find the reason” for such behavior; while innocent people died!
    All these things are secondary to protecting the innocent. It only become apparent when the tragedy hits home that murdering psychopaths need to be stopped as a primary goal.
    Trying to “understand them” puts undue emphasis on excuses & surety of protection as an after-thought.
    The unbelievable assertion that this individual “suffered from PTSD” is ludicrous as any reason or excuse for his behavior. But it demonstrates society’s failure to protect the innocent at the cost of a continuation of obscene violence.
    This jackass could have every emotional disorder imaginable & it wouldn’t matter a bit. The end result is what he does. And if what he does is a threat to those who are innocent, he needs to be removed from contact with society; better sooner than later!

  • texasgomer

    At this point, we know little about Dr. Hasan’s motives, but they have been put forth by Kay Bailey Hutchinson, a Texas Senator, as his being upset over his deployment. I would not call this a hate crime for that reason. The incident at the Museum was most definitely a hate crime.

  • http://none Chris

    texasgoober, real great Liberal logic there, lefty. Yeah, him being a Muslim had NOTHING whatsoever to do with it! Even though he was screaming Allah O Akbar as he shot up the place. And also lets make sure and overlook the fact he was posting crap on the internet about justification for suicide bombings.

    You liberals are brilliant. Absolutely freakin’ brilliant.

  • texasgomer

    I don’t see the similarity at all.

  • White Avocado

    I am curious to see how SPLC reacts to this incident in comparison to how they reacted to the Holocaust Museum shooting. Both cases seem very similar: deeply alienated and violent people.

  • texasgomer

    Speaking about what happened at Fort Hood, it is irrelevant that the guy was a Muslim. He could have been any faith and still broken. I think it says more about our lack of confidence in our wars than anything about any particular group, ethnic or otherwise.