FBI says probing Michigan airport stabbing as ‘act of terrorism’
The Federal Bureau of Investigation said on Wednesday it was investigating as an act of terrorism the stabbing of a police officer inside the main terminal of a small airport in Flint, Michigan.
“I will tell you that we are investigating this incident today that happened at about 9:45 this morning as an act of terrorism,” David Gelios, special agent in charge of the Detroit division of the FBI, told reporters outside Bishop International Airport.
The Department of Justice identified the suspect as Amor M. Ftouhi, 49, of Quebec, Canada. Ftouhi legally entered the United States from Lake Champlain, New York, on June 16 before making his way to Flint, Gelios said.
Ftouhi stabbed Lieutenant Jeff Neville of the airport’s Department of Public Safety. Neville was in satisfactory condition after undergoing surgery and expected to fully recover, police said.
“When the subject went up to the officer and stabbed him, he continued to exclaim ‘Allah’ and made a statement, something to the effect of ‘You have killed people in Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan and we are all going to die,” Gelios said.
Gelios described the weapon as a 12-inch knife with an 8-inch serrated blade. Ftouhi was a “lone wolf attacker,” Gelios said.
The airport was evacuated and there were no other injuries. It reopened on Wednesday evening.
A small regional airport, it has, on average, 16 commercial flights arriving or departing each day, according to FlightAware, a flight tracking service.
(Reporting by Jonathan Allen in New York; Additional reporting by Timothy Mclaughlin in Chicago; Editing by Lisa Shumaker, Toni Reinhold)