CAIRO - The family of a US Muslim imam killed in an FBI raid near Detroit in 2009 has filed a lawsuit challenging the official story of the religious leader's death, the Detroit Free Press reported Wednesday, October 31.
The lawsuit, filed in US District Court in Detroit, said FBI agents used excessive force to kill imam Luqman Abdullah without attacking them.
The suit, based on an affidavit of Muhammad Abdul Salaam, an associate of the slain imam, also accused FBI agents of failing to give the religious leader medical attention after the shooting.
"As Abdullah struggled to prevent the canine from attacking his face, Salaam said in his affidavit.
And while Abdullah was on his back, the FBI agents began shooting at him.
Luqman, 53, was shot dead by FBI agents in October 2009 during an undercover sting operation.
An autopsy, done in November, showed the slain imam had received 21 gunshot wounds, including shots to the head, abdomen, scrotum and back.
FBI agents said that they opened fire and killed Abdullah after he shot a dog they sent into his home.
But according to the report of the autopsy, when an investigator from the Medical Examiner's Office arrived at the scene Abdullah's body was found on the floor of a semi-trailer full of flat-screen TVs with his wrists handcuffed behind his back.
It also showed that Abdullah had several abrasions on his hands, the reason of which could not be identified.
But three other investigations cleared FBI agents in the shooting of the Muslim imam, accused of dealing in stolen goods.
In his affidavit, Salaam has denied that the imam had opened fire at the police dog.
"Abdullah never pulled any weapon towards the canine or towards any of the FBI agents, he said.
At no time during that day did I see Abdullah carry a gun.
"I never heard orders to show our hands, and I never heard any mention of a dog that would be released if we did not comply, he said.
Within a matter of two to three seconds, I saw a canine run in the direction of Abdullah and immediately start attacking him, including his face."
The imam's family accused FBI agents of mauling and torturing the Muslim religious leader.
"FBI K9 repeatedly attacked and mauled Abdullah's face, causing severe injuries to ... his forehead, upper eyelid, left cheek, lower lip, lower jaw and both hands ... tore off a denture device in the roof of Abdullah's mouth, and caused Abdullah's upper jaw to break," the lawsuit says.
Relations between the Muslim community and FBI have been tense in recent years over sending informants into mosques.
In 2009, Muslim groups threatened to suspect contacts with the FBI over sending informants into mosques.
US Muslims are particularly wary of the FBI informants over the bureau's history of wrongfully targeting members of their community.Since 9/11, Muslims, estimated between six to seven million, have become sensitized to an erosion of their civil rights, with a prevailing belief that America was targeting their faith.