Head of Detroit FBI Defends Use of Informants and Raid Where Imam Was Killed

FBI's Andy Arena/ticklethewire.com photo
FBI's Andy Arena/ticklethewire.com photo

The tension between the FBI and Muslim and Arab American citizens is something being played out around the country, particularly in places like the Detroit area. It can’t hurt to have meetings like these.


DEARBORN, Mi. — Saying that informants are an important tool, the special agent in charge of the Detroit FBI office told a Dearborn audience today that the case of a Muslim cleric who died in a shootout with federal agents ended tragically, but that his agents followed proper protocol.

“We did what we had to do,” said Andrew Arena, head of the FBI office in Detroit.

Over the past year, there has been growing concern among Muslims about the use of undercover sources in their mosques and communities. Informants were used in the case of Imam Luqman Ameen Abdullah, a Muslim leader from Detroit who died Oct. 28 after a shootout in Dearborn with FBI agents seeking to arrest him and others on suspicion of dealing with stolen goods. The FBI has said Abdullah opened fire on agents.

“I’m a Catholic, born and raised Roman Catholic,” Arena told the largely Muslim crowd in Dearborn. “If a Catholic priest is standing on the pulpit, saying, give money to the Irish Republican Army to kill British soldiers and throw them out of Northern Ireland, we have a right, a duty, a responsibility” to investigate.

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