There was a raid in Detroit and Dearborn yesterday. The FBI went after a radical mosque catering mainly to African-American converts. The leader, who was killed in a shootout with the G-folks, appears in an Olan Mills-ish portrait looking like a character from bad community theater. From what I can tell from reading the story, this crowd looks like a lot of yak, but little jihad shack, if that makes sense. They talked a good game — strapping on bombs and the like — but were mainly criminals operating under an overlay of Islam.
At least that’s the way it looks. It’s hard to be a bad-ass Muslim convert in this country, when the indictments are handed down giving your new name followed by the a.k.a.:
A federal complaint filed Wednesday identified Abdullah, 53, also known as Christopher Thomas, as “a highly placed leader of a nationwide radical fundamentalist Sunni group.” His black Muslim group calls itself “Ummah,” or the brotherhood, and wants to establish a separate state within the United States governed by Sharia law, Interim U.S. Attorney Terrence Berg and Andrew Arena, FBI special agent in charge in Detroit, said in a joint statement.
“He regularly preaches anti-government and anti-law enforcement rhetoric,” an FBI agent wrote in an affidavit. “Abdullah and his followers have trained regularly in the use of firearms, and continue to train in martial arts and sword fighting.”
The Ummah is headed nationally 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.
H. Rap Brown is still alive? That was my takeaway. Not that these folks aren’t dangerous; I guess I wouldn’t want to meet one in a sword fight. But when I hear of groups that want to establish separate states within the U.S. where they can practice white supremacy or Sharia law or whatever, I mostly think you folks just don’t understand this country, do you? If Christopher Thomas/Luqman Ameen Abdullah wants to live under Sharia law, he can always move to Afghanistan. But that would require learning a new language, and that’s, you know, hard.
Say what you want about Jim Jones, but at least he understood that if you really want to separate from the United States, you have to actually leave the United States.
The feds shot Thomas/Abdullah after he shot one of their dogs. Both died. If anyone shot my dog, I’d have thrown in a pistol-whipping, too.
I gotta get outta here early today — I have a buttload of work to do for my other non-paying job, but that’s good news. It’s election season, and that should be your busy time. We have a very capable bunch of student interns this term, and they’re giving me copy like nobody’s business, but that requires me to edit and offer mentor-ish advice. I yearn for the succinct style of James Thurber’s editor at the Columbus Dispatch, Gus Kienan, who once told him, “Crack this miracle and bring me back the pieces,” but alas. It seems I’m incapable of writing simple notes on student copy. Everything has to be a damn treatise, and most of these folks will never write a single news story for pay in their lives. Oh, well. If they carry away no message other than, “when you write something, people will read it,” that’s good enough for me.
One bit of bloggage: For once in my life, I’m in full agreement with Sarah Palin. I’m taking this as a cautionary tale about paying attention to who your kids are keeping company with. Sometimes these yahoos stay in your life forever.
Our own Moe99 starts chemotherapy today. Hang in there, Moe.