FLINT, Mich. (WJBK) - The attacker armed with a knife that stabbed a Flint airport police officer Wednesday morning has been identified as Canadian resident Amor M. Ftouhi.
The officer, Lt. Jeff Neville was stabbed in the neck, by Ftouhi, and was critically injured but has now been upgraded to satisfactory condition. Ftouhi was arrested at the scene by Neville, helped by another police member, a fire department member and a maintenance worker.
Ftouhi appeared in a Flint federal court tonight and heard the charges against him. He was then given a court appointed attorney, according to the Associated Press.
The FBI, in a press conference Wednesday afternoon, is considering it a lone wolf terror attack at Bishop International Airport. Special Agent in Charge David P. Gelios said that Ftouhi was yelling "Allahu Akbar" as he randomly approached Neville and began stabbing him at about 9:45 a.m..
"The suspect said (during the stabbing) 'You have killed people in Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan and we are all going to die,'" Gelios said, adding that the knife Ftouhi used was a 12-inch knife with an 8-inch serrated blade.
Ftouhi is described as a 49-year-old man from Quebec, who entered the country on June 16 from Lake Champlain, New York. He has no known ties or connection to the Flint area and did not have an airline ticket when he entered the airport. The FBI is investigating how he entered the country and said that Canadian investigators are working cooperatively on the case across the border.
A criminal complaint charging him with committing violence at an airport says Ftouhi asked an officer who subdued him why the officer didn't kill him.
Ftouhi was arrested on charges of committing an act of violence at an airport, which carries a sentence of up to 20 years in prison. Gelios said that additional charges are likely as the investigation continues.
Director of Public Safety Christopher Miller said that Neville, who was in full uniform at the time of the stabbing, fought back during the attack before help arrived.
"He engaged Lt. Neville and started to stab him," Miller said. "Lt. Neville fought him to the end. He never stopped fighting until I handcuffed this person with (Fire) Lt. Dan Owen and maintenance man. The four of us were able to apprehend him. The statements he made during the arrest were in some Muslim dialect. "
Miller said that Neville is resting comfortably at the hospital, while Flint Mayor Karen Weaver thanked the efforts of law enforcement for their response.
"What happened here is a tragedy," she said. "It is a sad day but could have been worse."