Man shouts ‘Al­lahu ak­bar,’ stabs po­lice of­fi­cer in the neck at Flint air­port

The Washington Times Daily - - NATION - BY JEFF KAROUB AND MIKE HOUSE­HOLDER

FLINT, MICH. | A Cana­dian man shouted an Is­lamist war cry in Ara­bic be­fore stab­bing a po­lice of­fi­cer in the neck at the Flint air­port in a Wed­nes­day at­tack that’s be­ing in­ves­ti­gated as an act of ter­ror­ism, fed­eral of­fi­cials said.

Amor Ftouhi, 49, of Que­bec, was im­me­di­ately taken into cus­tody. A crim­i­nal com­plaint charg­ing him with com­mit­ting vi­o­lence at an air­port says Mr. Ftouhi asked an of­fi­cer who sub­dued him why the of­fi­cer didn’t kill him.

The at­tack is be­ing in­ves­ti­gated as an act of ter­ror­ism, but au­thor­i­ties have no in­di­ca­tion at this time that he was in­volved in a “wider plot,” said FBI Spe­cial Agent in Charge David Ge­lios.

“At this time we view him as a lone wolf at­tacker,” Agent Ge­lios said. “We have no in­for­ma­tion to sug­gest any train­ing.”

The crim­i­nal com­plaint says Mr. Ftouhi stabbed Lt. Jeff Neville with a large knife af­ter yelling “Al­lahu ak­bar,” the Ara­bic phrase for “God is great.” Ac­cord­ing to the FBI, Mr. Ftouhi said some­thing sim­i­lar to “you have killed peo­ple in Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan, and we are all go­ing to die.”

Mr. Ftouhi heard the charge against him Wed­nes­day evening in fed­eral court and will get a court-ap­pointed at­tor­ney. Court spokesman David Ashen­fel­ter said Mr. Ftouhi will re­main in cus­tody un­til a bond hear­ing next Wed­nes­day.

Mon­treal po­lice spokesman Benoit Boiselle said Wed­nes­day evening that Cana­dian law en­force­ment, at the re­quest of the FBI, were search­ing an apart­ment build­ing in the east end of Mon­treal in St-Michel bor­ough.

Cana­dian TV footage showed po­lice es­cort­ing at least one per­son from the Mon­treal build­ing where Mr. Ftouhi is be­lieved to have lived.

Lt. Neville was in sat­is­fac­tory con­di­tion af­ter ini­tially be­ing in crit­i­cal con­di­tion, air­port po­lice Chief Chris Miller said at a late-af­ter­noon news con­fer­ence where the charges were an­nounced.

The at­tack just be­fore 10 a.m. at Bishop In­ter­na­tional Air­port prompted an evac­u­a­tion and ex­tra se­cu­rity else­where in the Michi­gan city about 50 miles north­west of Detroit. White House press sec­re­tary Sean Spicer said Pres­i­dent Trump was briefed on the stab­bing.

Agent Ge­lios said Mr. Ftouhi legally en­tered the U.S. at Cham­plain, New York, on June 16 and made his way to the Flint air­port Wed­nes­day morn­ing.

Mr. Ftouhi spent some time in pub­lic, un­se­cured ar­eas of the air­port be­fore go­ing to a re­stroom, where he dropped two bags be­fore at­tack­ing the of­fi­cer with a 12-inch knife that had an 8-inch ser­rated blade, Agent Ge­lios said, de­scrib­ing Mr. Ftouhi as “co­op­er­a­tive” and talk­ing to in­ves­ti­ga­tors.

Wit­nesses de­scribed see­ing the sus­pect be­ing led away as Lt. Neville was bleed­ing, a knife on the ground.

“The cop was on his hands and knees bleed­ing from his neck,” Ken Brown told The Flint Jour­nal. “I said they need to get him a towel.”

Cherie Car­pen­ter, who was wait­ing for a flight to Texas to see her new grand­child, told Flint TV sta­tion WJRT she saw the at­tacker be­ing led away in hand­cuffs. She de­scribed the man in cus­tody as ap­pear­ing “blank, just to­tally blank.”

Chief Miller said Mr. Neville “fought him to the end,” man­ag­ing to stop the stab­bing and bring Mr. Ftouhi to the ground as Chief Miller and other air­port of­fi­cers ar­rived to help.

Ge­ne­see County Com­mis­sioner Mark Young, a friend of Lt. Neville’s who re­tired from the Ge­ne­see County sher­iff’s of­fice in 1997, said Lt. Neville left that de­part­ment two years af­ter him.

Mr. Young said he headed to the air­port when he learned about the stab­bing Wed­nes­day.

“Things were chaotic, but very well or­ga­nized and under con­trol — how the sher­iff’s de­part­ment was han­dling things and how Bishop In­ter­na­tional was han­dling things,” he said.

AS­SO­CI­ATED PRESS

Lt. Jeff Neville was stabbed by a man who screamed “Al­lahu ak­bar” at the Flint, Michi­gan, air­port on Wed­nes­day.

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