Chicago, Oct 26--(AP) Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan acknowledged that suspected sniper John Allen Muhammad is a member of the religious group.

But Farrakhan said Saturday the man would be ousted from the Chicago-based group if he is convicted in the series of shootings that left 10 people dead and three wounded. "He has not formally been kicked out of the Nation of Islam, but certainly if he's found guilty of something like this he would not be considered at all a member," Farrakhan said.

Farrakhan said he "grieves for the senseless loss of life" caused by the sniper shootings in Maryland, Virginia and Washington, D.C.

Farrakhan held a news conference in response to speculation that Muhammad provided security at the "Million Man March" in Washington. Farrahkan, who organized the march, said Muhammad, 41, did not provide security. "He might well have been there," Farrakhan said of Muhammad, who changed his name from John Allen Williams after converting to Islam.

Farrakhan said Muhammad joined the Nation of Islam in 1997 but that he had not been in contact with the group since 1999, when he was involved in a domestic dispute with his wife, also a member of the group. "Those who knew him never said ugly things about his conduct or his behavior," Farrakhan said.

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