DETROIT (WWJ/AP) – The family of a Detroit mosque leader shot 20 times by FBI agents has failed to persuade a federal court to reinstate a lawsuit against the government.

An appeals court this week upheld a decision to dismiss a lawsuit filed by the estate of Luqman Abdullah. The decision centers on a technical point: The court says a three-year deadline to sue was missed.

Abdullah was killed when agents tried to arrest him at a Dearborn warehouse in 2009. He and his allies were accused of dealing stolen goods in an FBI sting operation.

The FBI says Abdullah was armed and resisted arrest. But Abdullah’s family claims he wasn’t armed and that his civil rights were violated during the shooting.

The Michigan attorney general previously said the shooting was justified, and the U.S. Justice Department’s civil rights division also found no wrongdoing.

The FBI said 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. He was married and had 10 children.

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