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For the last several months, we've been following federal law enforcement news on a new website, ticklethewire.com. It's the post-newspaper-career project of veteran journalist Allan Lengel, a former Detroit News and Washington Post staff reporter. 

The site is named after the term describing how investigators create a situation that will encourage targets of a probe to talk on a wiretapped phone. On the site, you'll find headlines and links for law enforcement news from around the country and original work from Lengel and contributors including, once in a while, even this rag.

An interview last week caught our attention and we think you should take a peek too. Lengel talks with Andrew G. Arena, head of the Detroit FBI, to discuss a wide range of topics.

In most of the interview, Arena addresses the bureau's work involving the southeast Michigan Arab community. He explains the bureau's relationship there, how intelligence is gathered and some of the dynamics in the post-9/11 world including setting up FBI recruitment booths at Arab cultural events. The bureau, after all, needs agents who speak Arabic.

Arena also cagily discusses — we wanted to hear more — ongoing public corruption investigations regarding Detroit officials. "Once you get something rolling, you get one person falling and they fall like dominos," Arena told Lengel. "That's obviously our goal here."

Which suggests that the plea deal arranged with City Council President Pro Tem Monica Conyers is just the beginning of the game.

News Hits is edited by Curt Guyette. Contact him at 313-202-8004 or [email protected]
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