FBI agents conducted dozens of interviews this week in Detroit-area Arab-American neighborhoods in an effort to prevent another terrorist attack before the Nov. 2 election, reports the Detroit News. “We’re redoubling our efforts,” said FBI agent Dawn Clenney. “We are very concerned about preventing any terrorist attacks and we know al Qaeda wants to attack us before the election.”
The checks have Arab-American and Muslim communities concerned. Arab-American civil rights leaders are warning residents that they don't have to submit to door-to-door FBI interviews, and advising them to have a lawyer present if they choose. “Already people are very scared and very intimidated,” said Imad Hamad of the American Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee. He expressed concern that Arabs who have overstayed their visas will be targeted for arrest. U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents in Detroit also are following up terror-related leads and intelligence, but aren't engaged in a wide-scale arrests of Arab-Americans who have overstayed visas. “We're not targeting Middle Easterners. We are targeting individuals that possibly intend to do harm to the American people,” said Greg Palmore, a spokesman.