Detroit’s FBI Chief: Violence, Extremism Cuts Across Religions (October 31, 2007)
Speaking inside a Warren mosque, the head of the FBI Detroit office said that violent extremism
is not only a problem among some Muslims.
"There are plenty of people out there in my faith, the Christian faith, who use these extremist
views to support their thoughts on racial superiority, be it the Ku Klux Klan, the Nazis, Aryan
Nation, all these people, these groups…they're all based on a religious view," Special Agent in
Charge Andrew Arena said Tuesday night to an audience of Muslims.
Citing examples of Christian extremism, Arena mentioned David Koresh, Olympics bomber Eric
Rudolph, and men who kill abortion doctors. "This stuff was all based on…fueled by the Bible,"
Arena and Assistant Special Agent in Charge William Kowalksi spoke to about 50 Muslims
inside the Islamic Organization of North America, or Tanzeem Islami, a Sunni mosque with a
primarily Pakistani congregation. The meeting was part of an effort by the FBI to reach out to
Muslims and other communities.
Arena said after the meeting that in "every religion, you have individuals who try to hijack the
faith…the Muslim faith, the Jewish faith, the Christian faith."
Some Muslims at the meeting complained about being profiled at airports. Arena said he
sympathized with them and said his office has tried to help Imam Mohammad Elahi, of Dearborn
Heights, stop getting pulled over at airports.
The problem could be that some innocent people may be getting pulled over because of "sound
alike, look alike, spell alike names," he said.
Contact Niraj Warikoo at firstname.lastname@example.org.