The FBI conducted a raid in Dearborn, Michigan, last Thursday night, taking one person into custody in connection with a national security investigation. Federal investigators reportedly blocked off the street and spent several hours at the home gathering evidence. They also told the local media that there was no immediate threat to public safety in metro Detroit.
Neighbors told Fox 2 that a Lebanese family consisting of a husband, wife, two kids, and an elderly woman moved into the house only about a month ago.
The multi-jurisdictional investigation started in New York, and according to sources, involved a target who might have been giving support to a terrorist organization.
Residents watched and wondered what the FBI SWAT team was doing at the home on Jonathan Street. Several neighbors said dozens of law enforcement officials from multiple agencies blocked the street and searched the home.
Nobody answered the door, but Ken Donaldson, who cuts most of the lawns on Jonathan Street, said everyone on the street is nice. He said it shows that a national security operation can happen anywhere.
“Every time we catch one person, it’s a plus for the overall goal,” Donaldson said. “If they eliminate that kind of terrorism, every step is a plus.”
Former Detroit FBI boss Andy Arena said the fact that neighbors weren’t evacuated, and that there was no imminent threat, means there weren’t terrorist bombs or weapons in the home.
“If that was there, if there was a threat, the FBI would have gotten the neighbors, the people in the neighborhood, out of there,” Arena said.
Sources said the raid was a joint terrorism task force case of “providing money and/or material support to a terrorist organization.” The target lived in New York, but recently moved to Dearborn.
According to Arab America News, a local outlet in Dearborn, the man taken into custody is Samer ElDebek, who works as a truck driver.
Dennis Michael Lynch reported:
He was returned to New York “on federal charges of providing material support or resources to foreign terrorist organizations, and receiving military-type training from them,” the AAnews stated.
ElDebek reportedly had lived in New York, then went to Lebanon eight years ago. AAnews said he returned to New York last year, then moved to Dearborn about 10 months ago.
A warrant issued a day before the raid stated that the FBI believed ElDebek had explosive materials, and/or a manual on how to make them. Included in the dozens of boxes the agents seized from the home were reportedly “over 90 sparkling birthday candles and several high-powered Shot Grizzly fireworks.” The family denied owning the fireworks, claiming they belonged to a neighbor who shared the same garage.
Contrary to some reports from alt-right outlets, the raid had nothing to do with Hillary Clinton aide Huma Abedin.
WXYZ-TV separated fact from fiction in this report:
The 7 Investigators started digging, cross checking those claims with property records, finding that neither the owner of the home, nor the reported suspect taken into custody match any of Abedin’s siblings.
We also consulted with the FBI today; they had no comment. But sources who would know, tell us, the claims are downright false and nothing more than internet fodder.