Profiling alleged in Detroit bridge arrest

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A Yemeni man arrested near an international bridge in Detroit charges that he was stopped becaused of his ethnicity. The Associated Pressd reports that Mohamed Elmathil, 26, says the FBI asked him if he trained with El-Qaida. “I tried to explain that I have been here since 1981,” said Mohamed Elmathil, a native of Yemen. “Of course, I was profiled.”

Elmathil and another man were arrested Sunday near the Ambassador Bridge, the busiest U.S.-Canada border crossing. They were questioned for having firecrackers, shotgun shells and a police baton in their car. Neither he nor the other man was charged with a crime. Detroit Police Cmdr. Jesse Banks said officers did not profile the men.

“It had nothing to do with anyone being Arabic,” Banks said. “The officers were on routine patrol and saw suspicious activity.”

Police have said that the suspected dynamite actually was two M80 firecrackers. Elmathil said they were left over from last July. He said the shotgun ammunition probably belonged to a friend who had borrowed his car. He said he carried the baton for protection but had never used it.

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