DEARBORN, Mich. – The FBI conducted a raid Thursday in Dearborn in connection with a national security investigation, the Local 4 Defenders have learned.
Sources said the investigation started in New York and involves a target who might have been giving support to a terrorist organization, not planning an attack. The Thursday evening raid shocked residents in the quiet Dearborn neighborhood.
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.
Neighbors said the man living in the home just recently moved in.
Agents removed several boxes from the home. Arena called it serious, but not necessarily a critical investigation.
"They're going to look at the evidence, analyze the evidence and take action," Arena said. "The public won't see that, but they are working."
For now, the search warrant is sealed from the public. The Defenders were told the FBI was probably looking for cellphones, computers or documents that back up the claims that someone was supporting a terrorist group. They'll want to know why the man chose to move to Dearborn and who he has been associating with since.