Islamic State videos threaten Irving imam who has denounced extremism
A prominent Dallas-area imam, Omar Suleiman, has received at least two death threats in lengthy videos that appear to come from the violent extremist group known as the Islamic State.
Suleiman is now in contact with FBI officials, he said. The Irving-based, New Orleans-born imam believes he has been targeted because of his moderate views, his condemnation of the Islamic State and his ecumenical work to help foster a greater understanding of Islam.
A spokeswoman for the FBI would not confirm or deny an investigation. But a Dallas-area security consultant said he believes the videos constitute a real threat from the Islamic State. And a former FBI agent said such threats should be taken seriously.
The Arabic headline in one video reads “Kill the imams of the disbelief,” said Suleiman and the security consultant Mohamed Elibiary. Both men are fluent in Arabic.
In one of the videos, Suleiman appears briefly in a clip walking with the Rev. Andy Stoker, senior minister of First United Methodist Church. That video with Stoker was previously released in December as a way to promote interfaith understanding.