Monday, December 14, 2009

The FBI Assassination of Detroit Imam and community leader Luqman Ameen Abdullah

by Steve da Silva – Reporting from Detroit
Click here to listen to December 14 RADIO BASICS for a special feature on Imam Luqman Ameen Abdullah, and hear what Detroit community leaders are saying about his assassination.

On October 28, 2009, the 53-year-old Luqman Ameen Abdullah, the Imam of the Masjid Al-Haqq in Detroit, was shot 18-times by the American Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and left for dead.

The FBI launched its attack on Imam Luqman after it had built up a formal criminal complaint against him using the statements provided by paid infiltrators of the mosque – who were themselves known criminals. But these documents contained neither charges of terrorism nor violations of federal law.

What the official 42-page indictment document did indicate, however, was that one FBI sources had tried to enlist Abdullah in a plan to attack the 2006 Superbowl in Detroit. Abdullah rejected the proposal by what he thought was a fellow member of the mosque (really an FBI agent) saying that he would play no part in hurting innocent people.

The charges listed in the criminal complaint were all constitutional rights of American citizens. Imam Abdullah was charged with possessing guns (which half of Americans own) and with preaching separatism (which is not only a matter of his freedom of speech, but has been a political position held by countless popular black, indigenous, Chicano, and Puerto Rican individuals and organizations in the face of systemic racism, barbarism, and exploitation in the U.S.).

According to the indictment document, built up from statements provided by the FBI infiltrators, Imam Abdullah had told his followers that if the police ever tried to take his weapon – again, a constitutional right – or tried to apprehend him, he would resist. With that information in hand, the FBI had the information they needed to construct a scenario where they Abdullah could be killed.

The FBI set up a warehouse of stolen goods, lured Imam Abdullah in through one of the infiltrators, and orchestrated a scenario were Abdullah would not come out alive. All that has been told to the public at this time is that Abdullah shot an FBI dog (which, if this is true, was most likely in self-defense after the animal attacked him. In response, we are told, Abdullah was shot 18 times and left to die while the dog was flown away by medical helicopter. Another telling detail is that Abdullah was handcuffed at some point throughout the affair – either before being shot 18 times, or after.

Representatives of the U.S. Attorney General’s office have confirmed that Imam Abdullah never fired on the federal agents.

As the National Lawyers Guild wrote on Novemebr 2: “By publicizing the killing and arrests as related to terrorism, absent any such allegations in the complaint, the FBI seems to be engaging in the same tactics used in its Counter Intelligence Program (COINTELPRO) [widely used in the 1960s and ‘70s] in which it spied on, infiltrated and disrupted political movements. Imam Abdullah had a close relationship with Imam Jamil Abdullah al-Amin, formerly known as H. Rap Brown, was a field organizer for the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) and later served as national chairman of the Black Panther Party (BPP).”

Director of the Masjid Al-Islam in Washington, D.C. told Press TV: “What the government is doing by assassinating Imam Luqman is trying to intimidate the Muslim community, especially the black community. And I say that because the immigrant community, which is about half of the Muslims in the United States and the African American Muslim community, which form the other half, have different views about Islam in America and how it should be fostered.”

“The immigrant community has been frightened since the 9/11 terrorist attack and they practice the kind of American-style Islam. Now, the killing of Imam Luqman is to intimidate us [African Americans]. But our message is different. We will not be intimidated by the United States government or by the FBI.”

Indeed, communities have not been intimidated by assassination, evidenced by the more than 1000 people in attendance at the Imam’s funeral on October 31, 2009, and the multiple demonstrations and events that have since been held.

Omar Regan, a son of Imam Luqman Ameen Abdullah, greets friends
and family members at the funeral for his father on October 31, 2009.

Many organizations are calling for an independent investigation into the killing, which usually consists of the Civil Rights Division of the Justice Department to see if their were violations of federal law. Given the FBI is under the Justice Department – a Department that persistently targets Muslims and black community leaders on trumped-up charges – it would be naïve to the extreme to think that such an investigation could be independent.

A rally was held outside the federal building on November 5, 2009
to protest the assassination of Imam Luqman Ameen Abdullah of the Masjid Al-Haqq

Abayomi Azikiwe, Editor of the Pan-African News Wire, as well as the Detroit-based MECAWI (Michigan Emergency Committee Against War & Injustice), are calling for a truly indepdenent people’s commission on inquiry that would issue a report and demand sanctions and criminal charges against those involved in the shooting and in ordering the operation.

The only crime that Imam Luqman Ameen Abdullah has committed in the eyes of the U.S. government is in being a strong and inspiring community leader and organizer, like countless black leaders and vocal opponents of the U.S. government have been gunned down by the U.S. government for precisely the same reason.

Currently, at least thirteen other individuals have been arrested and charged because of their association with Imam Luqman Ameen Abdullah and his mosque, including his son Mujahid Carswell, ten other members of the Masjid AL-Haqq, and two Canadians from Windsor. Although the mainstream media has painted their arrests and charges with the same “counter-terrorism” brush used to legitimize Imam Abdullah’s assassination, no terrorism-related have been laid on any of the other individuals.

More resources on the case available on the Pan-African News Wire.