DETROIT - The leader of what federal authorities describe as a fundamentalist group was shot and killed Wednesday during a series of raids in Dearborn and Detroit that resulted in federal charges against a dozen men.
Luqman Ameen Abdullah, 53, also known as Christopher Thomas, was gunned down after refusing to surrender and opening fire when the FBI raided a Dearborn, Mich., warehouse, the U.S. Attorney's Office said.
"The eleven defendants are members of a group that is alleged to have engaged in violent activity over a period of many years and known to be armed," according to a joint statement from the FBI and U.S. Attorney's Office.
An FBI dog was also killed during one of the raids.
Abdullah and 10 others were charged in a complaint with conspiracy to commit several federal felony crimes, including illegal possession and sale of firearms and theft from interstate shipments.
A 12th man, A.C. Pusha, was arrested late Wednesday in connection with the investigation. Three of the men who were charged still were at large Wednesday night. One was already in prison.
Seven of the men appeared Wednesday in U.S. District Court, said the U.S. Attorney's office. Six of those men appeared on complaints they received or sold goods stolen across interstate lines.
Abdullah was the leader of a group that calls itself "Ummah, a group of mostly African-American converts to Islam, which seeks to establish a separate Sharia-law governed state within the United States," the news release states.
"The Ummah is ruled by Jamil Abdullah al-Amin, formerly known as H. Rap Brown, who is serving a state sentence ... for the murder of two police officers in Georgia," the news release said.
"They're not taking their cues from overseas," said Jimmy Jones, a professor of world religions at Manhattanville College and a longtime Muslim prison chaplain. "This group is very much American born and bred."
The movement at one time was believed to include a couple of dozen mosques around the country.
Ummah is now dwarfed in numbers and influence by other African-American Muslim groups, particularly the mainstream Sunnis who were led by Imam W.D. Mohammed, who recently died.
The raids took place at at least two locations Wednesday - a warehouse in Dearborn and a home in Detroit.
Imad Hamad, senior national advisor and regional director of the Dearborn-based Arab-American Anti-Discrimination Committee, said he received a call from the head of the FBI's Detroit office at midday to tell him about the raid.
Hamad said Special Agent Andrew Arena told him the case was "solely criminal" and had to do with "smuggling and fraud." Arena revealed few details of the investigation, but said it had been ongoing for about two years, Hamad said.
Information from the Associated Press was used in this report.