A police officer has been seriously injured in an apparent terrorist attack at Bishop International Airport in Flint, Michigan, federal investigators say. The suspect made references to Syria and Iraq before being taken into custody.
The incident happened at 9:38 a.m. on Wednesday when a man walked up to a fully-uniformed police officer at a publicly accessible area of the airport, which is the state’s third busiest. He then yelled “Allahu Akbar,” pulled out a large knife and stabbed the officer in the neck.
The suspect was identified as 49-year-old Canadian citizen Amor Ftouhi, who arrived in the United States on June 16. He was charged later on Wednesday with committing an act of violence at an airport, which is punishable by up to 20 years in prison.
“After stabbing the police officer, Ftouhi continued to yell ‘Allah’ several times,” an FBI investigator said in court documents. “He further exclaimed something similar to, ‘you have killed people in Syria, Iraq, and Afghanistan, and we are all going to die.'”
After the stabbing, the officer was able to subdue Ftouhi, who asked the officer why he did not kill him.
The victim was identified as airport police officer Lt. Jeff Neville, who was bleeding from the neck and was rushed to an area hospital in critical condition. His condition was later described as stable and his injuries are not believed to be life-threatening.
The FBI confirmed that the stabbing was being investigated as a possible act of terrorism, though there was no immediate claim of responsibility.
As a result of the incident, Bishop International Airport was evacuated and closed for the remainder of the day. Police officers were also deployed at Flint City Hall and other buildings across the city in an “abundance of caution.”
Michigan State Police have asked citizens to remain vigilant and to report suspicious activity to law enforcement.
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