Man arrested after Dearborn mosque threats, ramming vehicles in drive to Metro Detroit

Charles E. Ramirez
The Detroit News

Dearborn — A man suspected of threatening mosques in Metro Detroit has been arrested, officials said.

The FBI is investigating threats made by a 60-year-old man who allegedly made statements about blowing up mosques in the Metro area, Dearborn police said in a Wednesday statement.

They said state police received information about the threats at about 2 p.m. Tuesday.

According to authorities, state police troopers arrested the man in Paw Paw as he was traveling from Minneapolis to Detroit in a blue sedan. He also allegedly used the vehicle to ram 11 other vehicles.

Investigators said they believe the man intentionally struck the other vehicles because their drivers were people of color. He allegedly made disparaging remarks about women and minorities in his encounters with officers.

Police searched his vehicle but did not find any weapons or explosives.

Officials said the suspect never entered Dearborn's city limits and there are no known threats to the city's residents.

However, Dearborn police stationed officers at all mosques in the city Tuesday as a precaution after the department was informed of the alleged threat.

Officials said they believe the suspect was acting alone and he is being held at the Van Buren County Jail to await charges.

On Thursday, the Michigan chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations urged Michigan’s Muslim community leaders to step up security measures for Islamic institutions in the wake of the arrest. 

Dawud Walid, the chapter's executive director, said he condemned the threats. He also said the incident is even more troubling because it happened during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan when the faith's followers frequent religious events in mosques more than at other times of the year.