Authorities mistakenly arrested an Arab-American leader, but released him Saturday after realizing he was not the man they were looking for, his attorney and the FBI said.
Ali Hammoud, president of the Bint Jebail Cultural Center in Dearborn, was arrested at his Dearborn home Friday night by police, said attorney Majed Moughni. Police told Hammoud that they were acting on a warrant requested by the FBI involving alleged cigarette smuggling and Hizballah support with a man who has a similar name.
But Saturday morning, after he was questioned by FBI agents, Hammoud was released, Moughni said…So, he got to spend the night in custody. Terrific.
The arrest sparked concern among some in the region’s Arab-American community, already sensitive to being unfairly targeted by law enforcement, particularly since the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.
Detroit FBI spokeswoman Special Agent Sandra Berchtold said Saturday via e-mail: “The individual fit the description/identifiers of an active warrant. It was later determined it was not the correct individual, and he was released.”
Berchtold said that “the individual was stopped by Dearborn (police) on a traffic violation.”
Moughni said that there was no traffic violation and that police came to Hammoud’s home Friday night to arrest him…
Face it. The coppers, the Feds, were trolling with a profile. Now, they lie about how the arrest happened.
After Hammoud was arrested, community leaders and others contacted Dearborn police and the FBI to find out what happened…Hammoud is well-known in Dearborn, and his arrest came as a surprise, said Hamad and Moughni…
Osama Siblani, publisher of the Arab-American News, spoke Saturday with Dearborn police and the FBI about the case. “We will not rest until we find out what happened, and we want to make sure it will never happen again,” Siblani said. “This is a respected community leader. I never doubted his innocence.”
At least this never got to a trial – and lucky he wasn’t in the hands of someone dedicated to current Republican ideology.
Think it’s an isolated incident? That profiling doesn’t continually embarrass the United States? Check out the latest incident leading to an apology to the former President of India APJ Abdul Kalam – for the 2nd time in two years.