FLINT, MICHIGAN — The Wednesday stabbing of a police officer at a Flint, Michigan airport is being investigated as a terror attack amid claims by witnesses that the assailant screamed “allahu akbar” just prior to attack.
According to a FBI spokesperson, Amor Ftouhi, a 50-year-old citizen of Canada, entered Bishop International Airport in Flint around 9:45 a.m., dropped his bags and began ranting about people being killed in Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan. The suspect then began screaming “allahu akbar”, Arabic for “God is great,” before witnesses say he pulled out a knife and began stabbing Officer Jeff Neville in the neck.
FBI Special Agent in Charge David P. Gelios said at a news conference following the incident that Ftouhi shouted “you have killed people in Syria, Iraq, and Afghanistan, and we are all going to die” as he was being arrested.
Police confiscated a 12-inch knife with an 8-inch serrated blade covered in blood from the scene.
According to Gelios, Ftouhi was motivated by “hatred of the United States” and there is no evidence thus far to indicate that the attack was part of a larger plot.
Canadian Embassy spokesperson Christine Constantin condemned the attack in a statement shortly after the incident as a “heinous and cowardly act,” and added “our thoughts and sympathies are with the officer and his loved ones.”
Ken Brown, a witness to the attack, told The Flint Journal (http://www.mlive.com/news/flint/index.ssf/2017/06/man_stabs_police_officer_in_ne.html#incart_2box_news_flint) that he was at the airport to drop off his daughter when he saw the officer covered in blood.
“The cop was on his hands and knees bleeding from his neck,” said Brown, who says he called for a towel to absorb the flowing blood.
Neville is a lieutenant with the airport’s police department and is expected to make a full recovery.
In a statement released on Twitter, Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder asked Americans to “keep the attacked officer in your thoughts and prayers.”