United States

Police officer stabbed in neck at Michigan airport

FBI Special Agent in Charge David Gelios said federal authorities were investigating the stabbing of a police officer at Bishop International Airport in Flint, Michigan, as an 'act of terrorism'.

CHICAGO • An attack on a Michigan airport police officer on Wednesday by a man yelling "Allahu Akbar" (Allah is the Greatest) is being investigated as an act of terrorism, the FBI said.

The stabbing at Bishop International Airport, in the city of Flint, comes amid a wave of extremist attacks in Europe, most recently a foiled bomb assault at a train station in Belgium.

US officials identified the suspect, who is in custody and cooperating with investigators, as a 49- year-old Canadian resident from Quebec named Amor Ftouhi.

"We are investigating this incident today as an act of terrorism," FBI special agent David Gelios told reporters, detailing the suspect's actions on Wednesday morning based on security camera footage.

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Ftouhi was seen lingering around the airport's non-secured public areas, including a restaurant, before pulling out a serrated-blade knife, yelling "Allahu Akbar" and stabbing an officer in the neck, police said.

During the attack, he "referenced killings in Syria, Iraq, and Afghanistan", according to the US Attorney's Office for the Eastern District of Michigan. He also expressed "hatred for the United States" in custody, Mr Gelios said.

The injured officer was Mr Jeff Neville, a 16-year veteran of the airport police force. He wrestled Ftouhi to the ground until others could arrest him. He was hospitalised and is in a stable condition.

Ftouhi faces charges of committing an act of violence at an airport. Canadian media said police searched his home in Montreal and made three arrests in connection with the attack.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 23, 2017, with the headline 'Police officer stabbed in neck at Michigan airport'. Print Edition | Subscribe