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HomeusThreat against Palestinians in America's largest Muslim city spurs arrest

Threat against Palestinians in America’s largest Muslim city spurs arrest

Police in Dearborn, Michigan, arrested one individual Thursday in connection to an online threat made toward Palestinian Americans in the Detroit suburb.

According to a statement by Dearborn Chief of Police Issa Shahin, police were made aware of the threat, which was posted to social media, after receiving a copy of the post through an anonymous tip on Wednesday. After a “thorough investigation,” the individual was arrested at their residence in Farmington Hills Thursday afternoon on probable cause of using a computer or electronic device to commit a crime, Shahin said.

Law enforcement agencies across the country have stepped up measures over concerns of potential security threats in light of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. In Dearborn, which is home to the largest Muslim population per capita in the U.S., Shahin said that police have increased their presence at all places of worship and schools in the city.

“At this time, we are not aware of any additional credible threats. However, we remain in close, constant contact with our law enforcement partners at the federal, state, and local level, and continue to monitor,” Shahin said.

Dearborn Mayor Abdullah Hammoud, the city’s first Muslim mayor who was elected in 2022, said in a statement Thursday that he was “grateful” for the police department’s swift response and celebrated the city’s cultural diversity.

“For over a century, Metro Detroit has been home to a strong interfaith tapestry formed by decades of fellowship among neighbors of Jewish, Islamic, Christian, and other faiths,” Hammoud said. “We will not allow the disheartening actions of one individual to break the bonds of our longstanding relationships with one another.”

The nature of the online threat or the identity of the individual arrested on Thursday were not immediately known. Shahin said the individual is in custody while police continue their investigation.

Newsweek reached out to the Dearborn Police Department via email for further information.

Police departments in some of America’s largest cities responded to fears of potential violence or safety threats ahead of Friday in anticipation of what some have deemed a “Day of Jihad” after the former Hamas leader called for widespread protests in support of Palestinians. White House Coordinator for Strategic Communications John Kirby told reporters Thursday that the federal government was “absolutely” focused on “any threats to the American people.”

U.S. Capitol Police said in a statement to Fox 11 that they were “enhancing security throughout the Capitol Complex” in preparation for expected protests on Friday. The police departments in New York City and Los Angeles also announced on Thursday that they were increasing security measures, but neither department has detected any credible threats to their respective cities.

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