FBI investigating officer’s stabbing at Flint airport as terrorism
Shimon Prokupecz, Lauren Del Valle and Eric Levenson, CNN
Published at | Updated at
(CNN) — The FBI is investigating the stabbing of a police officer at a Flint, Michigan, airport on Wednesday “as an act of terrorism,” officials said.
The suspect, Amor Ftouhi, a 50-year-old native of Canada, has been charged with violence at an international airport, FBI Special Agent David Gelios said. Ftouhi is accused of stabbing Lt. Jeff Neville.
Ftouhi entered the United States legally through Lake Champlain, New York, on June 16 and made his way to Bishop International Airport, where he arrived Wednesday, Gelios said.
“He spent a little time in the restroom, dropped both bags and came out, pulled out a knife, yelled ‘Allahu akbar’ and stabbed Lt. Neville in the neck,” Gelios said.
Ftouhi also said something similar to “you have killed people in Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan, and we are all going to die,” according to a criminal complaint filed against him on Wednesday.
A law enforcement officer subdued Ftouhi, who asked the officer why he did not kill him, the complaint said.
More charges could be added as the investigation continues, Gelios said.
Neville, who was stabbed on the public side of the airport’s main terminal, was in satisfactory condition on Wednesday, said Chief Chris Miller of the Bishop Airport Safety Division.
The airport, which was evacuated, reopened Wednesday afternoon.
A law enforcement official said the stabbing appears to have targeted law enforcement. The FBI said earlier it believed the attack was an “isolated incident.”
President Donald Trump has been briefed on the attack, an administration official told CNN.
A US official told CNN that, based on preliminary information, it appears Ftouhi has traveled between the United States and Canada multiple times.
A spokesperson for the Canadian Embassy in Washington said the Canadian government and law enforcement agencies are “engaged and are cooperating fully” with their American counterparts.
Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder and Flint Mayor Karen Weaver responded to the stabbing with words of support for officers.
“(P)lease keep the attacked officer in your thoughts & prayers,” Snyder said on Twitter.
“My thoughts and prayers are with all of our law enforcement officers who work to service and protect us each and every day,” Weaver said in a statement.
The airport’s Police Department has six full-time and six part-time police officers. About 800,000 passengers took flights through Bishop last year, according to statistics from the airport.
CNN’s Kaitlan Collins, Rene Marsh and Kristina Sgueglia contributed to this report.