Doctors: Officer stabbed at airport recovering


Doctors: Officer stabbed at airport recovering

Special Agent in Charge David Gelios says the suspect accused of stabbing a Flint Bishop Airport police officer Wednesday was in MI as early as last Sunday and tried to buy a gun.

US Department of Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly on Thursday described Ftouhi as a "completely off-the-screen individual" and likened the airport stabbing to random terrorist attacks in Europe in recent months.

Ftouhi traveled into the United States legally by auto at Lake Champlain, New York, last Friday and appeared to have been in MI as early as Sunday, according to Gelios.

The FBI is investigating the attack as a possible act of terrorism but Gelios says the agency has "no information" that the attack was part of a wider terrorism plot. He continued to yell "Allah" several times after the stabbing, and reportedly said something similar to "you have killed people in Syria, Iraq, and Afghanistan, and we are all going to die", according to the FBI's criminal complaint. "There's lots of evidence to be digested by both the agents and prosecutors and I think it's safe to say there will be additional charges forthcoming", said Acting U.S. Attorney Dan Lemish, of the eastern district of MI.

Ftouhi, originally from Tunisia and who holds dual Tunisian-Canadian citizenship, legally entered the United States from Lake Champlain, New York, on June 16 before making his way to Flint, Gelios said.

From the conference room's large window, Owen could see airport police officer Lt. Jeff Neville and an unnamed maintenance worker wrestling with a "fairly large man".

Ftouhi's next hearing is set for June 28.

He has been charged in USA federal court with committing violence at an worldwide airport, with a bond hearing set for next Wednesday.

The assailant in the Wednesday morning attack that prompted an evacuation and shutdown of Bishop International Airport has been identified as 49-year-old Amor M. Ftouhi of Quebec. Canadian media said police searched his home in Montreal and made three arrests in connection with the attack. Montreal police spokesman Benoit Boiselle said officers were assisting the Royal Canadian Mounted Police in the search on behalf of an Federal Bureau of Investigation request.

Meanwhile, new details about his alleged attacker, a married father of three who worked on and off as a truck driver, have emerged.

"He appeared to understand what I was reading and indicated to me that he understood what I was reading to him", Koelzer said.

"Lt. Neville never stopped fighting until I handcuffed this person, along with Lt. Neville, Lt. Dan Owens and maintenance person, Richard Cruell".

While bleeding from the neck, Lieutenant Jeff Neville wrestled with the attacker until he was restrained by other officers. The Tunisian was quiet, he said, adding that Ftouhi worked as a part-time caretaker of the property. "I said they need to get him a towel".