CAIRO –- An autopsy showing that a slain American imam was shot 21 times during an FBI raid is raising many questions aid demands from civil rights advocates and Muslim groups for an independent investigation, The USA Today reported on Tuesday, February 2.
"It's even more horrendous than we first thought," asserted Ron Scott, of the Detroit Coalition Against Police Brutality.
Luqman Ameen Abdullah, a 53-year-old local imam in Dearborn, near Detroit, was shot by FBI on October 28.
At the time the FBI report described him as a "highly placed leader of a radical fundamentalist Sunni group" whose primary mission was to establish an Islamic state within the US.
Yet, the authorities were reportedly trying to arrest Abdullah on charges of conspiracy to sell stolen goods and illegal possession and sale of firearms.
The autopsy, done in November but only released Monday, shows Abdullah’s death was caused by multiple gunshot wounds.
FBI agents had said they opened fire and killed Abdullah after he shot a dog they sent into his home.
But according to the autopsy report, 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.
He had received 21 gunshot wounds, including shots to the head, abdomen, scrotum and back.
The autopsy also showed that Abdullah had several abrasions on his hands, the reason of which could not be identified.
"At some point his back was turned," added Wayne County Medical Examiner Dr. Carl Schmidt.
"Whether that means someone meant to shoot him in the back or not, I couldn't say. He must have been slightly turned to the left (at the time of the shooting)."
"Whoever was responsible should be criminally prosecuted," said Azikiwe.
Abayomi Azikiwe, of the Michigan Emergency Committee against War and Injustice, described Abdullah's death "a targeted assassination."
"After they shot him, they dumped him in a trailer like a dog," he charged.
After the autopsy report release, Muslim civil liberty groups and politicians called for an independent investigation into the FBI raid, reported the Detroit Free Press.
"The results we have seen so far are disturbing, and we are going to be investigating more," said Dawud Walid, executive director of Council on American-Islamic Relations Michigan.
"Three shots in the genital area, and the broken jaw, and a bullet in the back: We don't know how he would have gotten that," he added.
"If he is killed instantly, why is his body found with his hands handcuffed behind his back?"
Walid said CAIR, the largest Muslim civil rights group in the US, is requesting copies of the autopsy photographs and has hired an independent pathologist to review the findings.
The results of a necropsy on the dog would also be checked to confirm whether it was killed by bullets from a non-police weapon as investigators have said.
The House Judiciary Committee, led by Rep. John Conyers of Detroit, joined calls for the Department of Justice to conduct an independent investigation.
"The need to provide a thorough, rigorous and transparent accounting of the shooting here is plain," Conyers wrote in a letter to Attorney General Eric Holder.
Azikiwe, of the Michigan Emergency Committee against War, insisted that an investigation is needed to prevent such incidents from being repeated.
"Whoever was responsible should be criminally prosecuted."
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