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FBI Agents Cleared by Justice Dept in Imam Shooting

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. Justice Department said Wednesday that FBI agents acted properly when they shot and killed a Detroit Muslim cleric who brandished a gun and fired at them as they tried to arrest him last year.

FBI agents tried to arrest Imam Luqman Ameen Abdullah on charges of trafficking in stolen property, illegal possession of firearms and other charges, along with some of his suspected associates at a warehouse in Dearborn, Michigan, the Justice Department said.

Abdullah initially tried to escape but was cornered by dozens of FBI agents. He waved a 9mm handgun and fired three shots at a police dog that had grabbed his arm and at nearby agents, according to a 17-page report released Wednesday.

With concerns by local Muslim leaders that the agents used excessive force, the Justice Department's civil rights division reviewed the shooting, checked surveillance tapes, interviewed agents at the scene and examined other evidence.

"After a thorough and rigorous investigation ... the Civil Rights Division has concluded that the evidence does not reveal a violation of the federal criminal civil rights statutes or warrant further federal criminal investigation," the report said.

Muslim groups had called for independent investigations into the shooting death of Abdullah, questioning why he had been shot nearly two dozen times and handcuffed after being shot.

The complaint filed in federal court in 2009 against Abdullah described him as a leader of a "nationwide radical fundamentalist Sunni group" that wanted to create a separate Islamic state within the United States.

The FBI must still conduct its own administrative inquiry into the incident. (Reporting by Jeremy Pelofsky; Editing by Peter Cooney)

© 2015 Thomson/Reuters. All rights reserved.

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WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. Justice Department said Wednesday that FBI agents acted properly when they shot and killed a Detroit Muslim cleric who brandished a gun and fired at them as they tried to arrest him last year. FBI agents tried to arrest Imam Luqman Ameen...
 

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