Muslim group plans probe of imam’s death
Religious leader was shot 21 times Oct. 28 by FBI agents in raid at Dearborn warehouse
Oralandar Brand-Williams / The Detroit News
Detroit — The local office of a national Muslim civil rights organization said it plans to launch an independent forensic investigation into the shooting death of a Detroit Muslim cleric in October during an FBI raid.
Imam Luqman Ameen Abdullah, head of Masjid Al-Haqq mosque, was shot to death Oct. 28 during a raid on a Dearborn warehouse by FBI agents. They say they shot the imam because he fired first at an FBI dog. Agents said they were investigating Abdullah and several other men in connection with a stolen goods operation.
An autopsy report released Feb. 2 found Abdullah died from 21 bullet wounds
Lena Masri, a staff attorney for the Council on American-Islamic Relations Michigan chapter, said Tuesday she has seen more than 75 autopsy photos and other photos of the dead imam.
She said in the photos he is lying face down and is handcuffed. She also said she was told by Wayne County Medical Examiner Carl Schmidt that Abdullah’s body was moved from the warehouse after he died and taken to a nearby trailer. “Why was the body moved from the location?” Masri asked. “We’re concerned why the crime scene was contaminated.”
Masri also said she noticed he was missing several front teeth. She said the medical examiner told her the missing teeth did not indicate he had fallen.
“He said a lot more of his teeth would have been out had he fallen,” Masri added.
More disturbing, Masri said, was that no ambulance was called for Abdullah after the shooting.
“They airlifted the dog to (an animal hospital) but an ambulance was not called for a religious leader,” Masri said.
Local FBI officials were not available for comment.
The civil rights division of the U.S. Justice Department has launched an investigation into Abdullah’s death.
On March 27, several community groups are hosting a town hall meeting to discuss the investigation. The meeting will be at 2 p.m. at New Bethel Baptist Church, 8430 Linwood.
“The community concern (over the imam’s death) is escalating. It’s not decreasing,” said Dawud Walid, the executive director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations Michigan chapter. “I don’t just mean the Muslim community. I mean communities of various faiths.”