The stabbing at Bishop International Airport in Flint, Michigan, that left a police officer wounded on Wednesday was labeled an act of terrorism by the FBI.
The suspect has been identified as Amor Ftouhi, a 50-year-old from Quebec, Canada, according to David Gelios, a spokesman for the FBI’s Detroit division. Ftouhi entered the country on June 16 and made his way to Michigan, where he attacked Lt. Jeff Neville of the Bishop International Airport Department of Public Safety, Gelios said.
Gelios wouldn’t say why Ftouhi might have chosen the airport for an attack, but he noted at an afternoon press conference that the airport attacker yelled “Allahu akbar” (God is great) before he stabbed Neville.
According to an incident report obtained by HuffPost:
He further exclaimed something similar to, “you have killed people in Syria, Iraq, and Afghanistan, and we are all going to die.”
The law enforcement officer was able to subdue Ftouhi, who asked the officer why he did not kill him. The officer also took all of Ftouhi’ s possessions, which included identification document.
Neville is in stable condition after undergoing surgery, a Michigan State Police spokeswoman told HuffPost. The on-duty officer was rushed to a local hospital after being stabbed in the neck.
Ftouhi, a resident of Montreal who was born in Tunisia, holds dual citizenship for both countries. He works part-time as a truck driver and speaks Arabic and French with limited English proficiency, Michigan Live reports.
Ftouhi has lived in Canada for 10 years, the last six of which in the same apartment with his wife and children, according to the Montreal Gazette. The newspaper interviewed Luciano Piazza, Ftouhi’s landlord, who said he was “a very good guy” who never got into any trouble with his neighbors.
Montreal police searched his apartment following the attack at the request of the FBI, but authorities have yet to release any information about the investigation.
Prior to Wednesday’s incident, Ftouhi allegedly brought several bags into the bathroom at the airport, “spent some time there” and then pulled out a 12-inch knife and attacked, authorities said.
The FBI, which is leading the investigation, said it believes the attack was an “isolated incident” and that there is no threat to the Flint community. Authorities labeled the stabbing an act of terrorism.
President Donald Trump has been briefed on incident, a White House spokeswoman confirmed to HuffPost.
Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder (R) requested community members keep the attacked officer in their thoughts and prayers.
Bishop International Airport posted on its Facebook page that it reopened at about 5 p.m. local time after noting that all passengers had been safely evacuated. Travelers are encouraged to check with airlines for potential cancellations or delays.
The small, regional airport is located roughly 65 miles northwest of Detroit.