Pathologist: Slain Mich. imam was bitten by dog, bites don't show what happened during raid
SOUTHFIELD, Mich. – SOUTHFIELD, Mich. (AP) — A Detroit mosque leader killed last fall in a shootout with the FBI had dog bites on his face and hands, according to an independent review of the autopsy released Wednesday by a Muslim advocacy group.
The head of the Michigan chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations said the bites raise the possibility that Luqman Ameen Abdullah fired a gun trying to defend himself against an FBI dog before he was shot 20 times by agents.
But executive director Dawud Walid also acknowledged that Abdullah may have simply engaged the FBI in gunfire.
"Both scenarios are plausible," Walid said at a news conference.
The FBI says it killed Abdullah after he fired a gun and resisted arrest in a stolen-goods sting operation at a Dearborn warehouse in October. An FBI dog died in the shootout.
Walid's group, known as CAIR, hired Pittsburgh forensic pathologist Dr. Cyril Wecht to look at more than 70 autopsy photos and the autopsy report by the Wayne County medical examiner's office.
Some leaders in the local Muslim community have raised questions about excessive force by the FBI. The Michigan attorney general's office recently received the investigation by Dearborn police and is trying to determine if laws were broken.
Wecht said dog bites broke Abdullah's jaw and caused lacerations on his face and hands.
"If they shot him 20 times because he shot their dog that's unacceptable," Wecht said by phone Wednesday.
But he emphasized that he doesn't "have an ax to grind here."
"I haven't expressed any opinions about the overall scenario — was it necessary, what was the provocation, et cetera," Wecht said of the shooting. "I don't know these guys."
An FBI spokeswoman, Detroit agent Sandra Berchtold, declined to comment.
In February, Wayne County's chief medical examiner, Dr. Carl Schmidt, said there was no distinct pattern to Abdullah's facial wounds. He said he didn't know if they were dog bites.
The FBI says Abdullah was a leader of a radical Sunni group that wants to create an Islamic state within the U.S. His family has denied allegations that he was anti-government.
Eleven allies were indicted in November, with most charged with conspiring to possess and sell stolen goods.