Flint airport stabbing suspect tried to buy gun in US, FBI says

Elias Hubbard
June 26, 2017

"I don't think he was on anyone's radar screen, but we do know he traveled from Canada to NY to Michigan", McCaul told CNN. Montreal police spokesman Benoit Boiselle said officers were assisting the Royal Canadian Mounted Police in the search on behalf of an Federal Bureau of Investigation request.

The FBI has interviewed more than 20 witnesses and conducted several search warrants to learn what motivated Ftouhi to attack Flint airport police Lieutenant Jeff Neville with a 12-inch knife. A law enforcement officer at the scene subdued Ftouhi shortly after the attack.

New details about the suspect emerged at his initial court appearance Wednesday.

Ftouhi will remain in jail pending a full detention hearing next Wednesday.

Mr. Ftouhi worked off and on as a truck driver, most recently two weeks ago, according to the recording. His mother, three sisters and two brothers live in Tunisia; another sister resides in Switzerland.

A lawyer said Ftouhi, a Montreal resident, has some understanding of English, but is mostly fluent in French.

On Thursday, Canadian authorities raided Ftouhi's home in the Montreal borough of Villeray-St Michel, and took three people in for questioning, Montreal police spokesman Benoit Boiselle told AP. He therefore qualifies for a federally appointed defender and will be represented by Joan Morgan, a Flint-based attorney.

"He certainly appeared to understand what I was reading and indicated to me he understood what I was reading to him and that it represented the facts alleged in support of the charge", Koelzer told Judge Stephanie Dawkins Davis. He is also said to have failed in his attempt to acquire a gun. The charge now pending against him could put him in jail for up to 20 years. It wasn't immediately clear whether Ftouhi had an attorney.

Security camera footage shows Ftouhi entering the Bishop Airport at 8:52 a.m. with a "red duffle and a dark satchel bag".

Ftouhi came to the Bishop International Airport in Flint, some 80 km northwest of Detroit on Wednesday morning and stabbed a police officer on duty in the neck.

Gelios said Ftouhi "continued to exclaim "Allah" and he made a statement to the effect of, "You killed people in Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan" and 'We're all going to die'".

Neville, 49, who is now alert and awake, fought off his attacker for a minute as other police assisted in subduing the suspect.

Then, Owen and the airport's Director of Public Safety, Christopher Miller, who had heard the commotion and were about 15 feet away, arrived at the scene within four or five seconds and helped restraint the suspect, Owen said.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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