FLINT, Mich. – The stabbing of a police lieutenant at a Michigan airport Wednesday by a Canadian citizen who yelled “Allahu Akbar” and referenced people being killed in Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan is being investigated by the FBI as an act of terrorism, officials said.
FBI Special Agent in Charge David P. Gelios said at a news conference Amor Ftouhi, a 50-year-old Canadian citizen, entered Bishop International Airport in Flint around 9:45 a.m. and went to a restroom before dropping both of his bags, coming out with a knife and yelling “Allahu Akbar,” the Arabic phrase for “God is great,” before stabbing Lt. Jeff Neville (pictured) in the neck.
Ftouhi said something similar to “you have killed people in Syria, Iraq, and Afghanistan, and we are all going to die” as he was being arrested, according to Gelios. He also used a 12-inch knife with an 8-inch serrated blade, he added.
The Canadian citizen was motivated to come to the airport and conduct this act of violence out of a “hated of the United States,” according to Gelios. He legally entered the U.S. at Lake Champlain in New York on June 16, and then made his way to Flint, according to Gelios.
Police in Canada were searching a Montreal apartment late Wednesday, reported Fox News. Montreal police spokesman Benoit Boiselle told the Associated Press officers with their department were assisting the Royal Canadian Mounted Police in the search on behalf of an FBI request. A number of police stood guard outside the apartment building in the east end of Montreal located in St-Michel borough. Canadian TV footage showed police escorting at least one person from the building where Ftouhi is believed to have lived.
Federal prosecutors have charged Ftouhi with committing violence at an airport. The entire attack took place outside of the TSA screening area at the airport.
Flint Airport Director of Public Safety Christopher Miller said Neville is in “satisfactory condition,” and “doing fine.” Miller said Neville “fought him till the end” until the suspect was able to be handcuffed.
The FBI added in the criminal complaint that Ftouhi asked an officer who subdued him why he didn’t kill him.
(Photo Jeff Neville LinkedIn)