FBI says it’s investigating threats in Dearborn

George Hunter
The Detroit News

Dearborn police are working with state and federal authorities amid concerns about “recent threats in Dearborn” and last week’s terrorist attacks in Paris, according to the FBI.

“In the immediate wake of the attacks in Paris, law enforcement at all levels has confronted a surge of misguided retaliatory threats toward others across the country,” the FBI said in a press release Tuesday. “In response to recent threats in Dearborn, the FBI Detroit Field Office, the United States Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Michigan, and the Dearborn Police Department have collaborated to ensure law abiding citizens are protected, and to deter those who would threaten them.”

The release did not say which threats were received involving Dearborn.

David P. Gelios, special agent in charge of the FBI Detroit Field Office, said federal authorities have placed a special emphasis on fostering relationships in Metro Detroit, which has a high Arab-American population.

“The FBI Detroit will aggressively work with our state and local partners to investigate and bring to justice those who would make violent threats against others in response to, or in retribution for, the terrorist attacks conducted in Paris last week,” Gelios said.

“The FBI has worked tirelessly nationwide to develop and maintain relationships with a host of diverse communities across the country. Nowhere is that more true than in metropolitan Detroit, and the FBI highly values the relationships it has forged with all the communities we serve throughout Michigan.”

Dearborn Police Chief Ronald Haddad added: “The Dearborn Police Department is totally committed to safeguarding the security of our 100,000 residents and 200,000 daily visitors alike. We value our relationship with federal, state and county law enforcement partners and will continue to coordinate efforts that enhance the safety of our region.”

The updates comes after Dearborn police investigated threats over the weekend made on social media that appeared to target the city for retribution after the Paris attacks. A Twitter user wrote: “Dearborn, MI, has the highest Muslim population in the United States. Let’s (expletive) that place up and send a message to ISIS. We’re coming.”

Haddad said on a Dearborn community Facebook post Saturday that the Police Department “was aware of the threat and actively pursuing ...” Later, he offered an update on the Facebook page for Dearborn Area Community Members that “Subject located and no longer a threat to Dearborn...thanks.”

A woman who said she posted the tweet apologized Monday on WXYZ-TV (Channel 7), which reported that Haddad expected to know this week whether she’d face charges.