The Council on American-Islamic Relations' (CAIR) Michigan chapter has filed a lawsuit against the Michigan State Police for denying Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests, the group announced. The FOIAs requested detailed information on the events leading up to the death of Luqman Abdullah, a Detroit imam who was killed in an October 2009 FBI raid. FBI agents say they returned fire after Abdullah refused to surrender and fired first.
A criminal complaint charged Abdullah and ten of his followers with conspiring to sell stolen goods. It also identified Abdullah as a "highly placed leader of a nationwide radical fundamentalist Sunni group" whose goal is to establish an Islamic state in the U.S.
CAIR-Michigan Executive Director Dawud Walid defended the group's decision to sue the state police. "Due to the utter lack of transparency shown by various law enforcement agencies involved in this case, we have been compelled to use the courts to obtain what should be public information," he said. CAIR continues to call on the Department of Justice to investigate Abdullah's death.
Since the shooting, CAIR-Michigan has gone to great lengths to try to discredit the FBI's decision to return fire on Abdullah, even hiring a pathologist to do a second independent autopsy of the body. The county medical examiner took issue with the results of CAIR's autopsy, which concluded that Abdullah's jaw was broken by a dog attack and that he had dog bites on his upper body. The second autopsy was performed only by examining photos.
The organization plans to announce more lawsuits at a news conference this afternoon. According to a press release, the organization will announce the filing of several FOIA lawsuits against different law enforcement entities in order to obtain more information about the death of Abdullah.