Flint airport terror attack suspect spits at guard before hearing

Amor Ftouhi forced to wear mask during hearing after spitting at guard

FLINT, Mich. – A man charged in connection with a terror attack at the Bishop International Airport in Flint spit at a guard Wednesday before his hearing on stabbing charges, officials said.

Amor Ftouhi, 50, is accused of stabbing an officer at the airport while yelling "Allahu Akbar," or "Allah is the greatest," in Arabic. He stabbed Lt. Jeff Neville in the neck before being taken into custody, police said.

READ: Full coverage of terror attack at Flint airport

Ftouhi was put in a mask after he spit at the guard for the rest of his hearing. He doesn't make enough money to retain an attorney, so one will be provided for him.

"The complaint that has been filed is charging a violation of 18 US code 37A1," Detroit Special Agent in Charge David Gelios said.

On Wednesday night, Ftouhi already had his initial appearance in Flint Federal Court.

Officials said Ftouhi entered the United States legally from Canada. He lives in Montreal, but entered the U.S. on June 16 in New York.

It's unclear why Ftouhi made his way to Flint, but around 9 a.m. Wednesday, he entered the Bishop International Airport with a red duffel bag and a dark satchel, went up to the second level, set his bags down in the bathroom and stabbed an officer.

"He spent a little time in the restroom, dropped both bags and came out," Gelios said. "He pulled out a knife, yelled, 'Allahu Akbar,' and stabbed Lt. Neville in the neck."

According to federal officials, Frouhi continued to yell "Allah" several times after the attack, and then said something like, "You have killed people in Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan, and we are all going to die."

A law enforcement officer nearby saw the attack and got to Ftouhi before he could harm more people. Officials said Ftouhi "asked the officer why he didn't kill him."

Federal officials said the knife Ftouhi used was an Amazon Jungle Survival Knife. It has a serrated edge, and he used it to attack Neville from behind.

Neville is at a nearby hospital in stable condition.

Ftouhi will return to federal court in Flint next week.

About the Authors: