FLINT, Mich. - A Canadian man who was indicted for attacking an airport officer in Flint has been charged with an additional offense of committing an act of terrorism transcending national boundaries, the U.S. Department of Justice announced.
Amor M. Ftouhi, 50, of Montreal, Canada, was indicted in July 2017 for attacking a Bishop Airport officer.
Officials said Ftouhi entered the United States from Canada for the purpose of killing a government official. Before entering the U.S. on June 16, Ftouhi studied American gun laws and did research on gun shows in Michigan.
When he got to Michigan, Ftouhi failed to buy a gun and bought a knife instead.
On June 20, Ftouhi stabbed the police officer in the neck with a knife while referencing killings in Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan. He yelled "Allahu Akbar" during the attack.
After being arrested, Ftouhi told officials he was a "solider of Allah" and subscribed to the ideology of al-Qaeda and Osama bin Laden.
Ftouhi will be arraigned on the new charge in Flint. He faces a statutory maximum sentence of life in prison.
Ftouhi has outburst in court
Ftouhi had an outburst in July during a preliminary examination in federal court.
Airport police Lt. Jeff Neville was stabbed in his neck while on duty June 21. Federal investigators say Ftouhi used a 12-inch knife with a green handle and a black 8-inch serrated blade. It was marked Amazon Jungle Survival Knife, officials said.
The attack, which the FBI quickly called an act of terror, happened on the second floor of the airport. Federal agents said during the attack Ftouhi referenced killings in Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan and yelled, "Allahu Akbar."
Ftouhi yelled "Allahu Akbar" three times as he entered court on July 5, but then he stood mute as the judge entered a not guilty plea on his behalf.
You can listen to the court proceedings in the audio file posted below.
Ftouhi was arrested and charged with committing an act of violence at an international airport.
"Lt. Neville never stopped fighting until I handcuffed this person, along with Lt. Neville, Lt. Dan Owens and maintenance person, Richard Cruell," said Chief Chris Miller, of the Bishop International Airport Public Safety Department. "The four of us were able to subdue this person, get him handcuffed and get him under control."
Owens witnessed the attack.
"We were here setting up for a meeting with our public safety partners in our county," Owens said. "I was about 10, 15 feet away when I witnessed the attack. Myself and Chief Miller responded to it fairly quickly. He's a good friend of mine. It was very terrifying to see something that quick and luckily we were a very, very close distance to respond."
Ftouhi arrived in Flint that day
Officials said Ftouhi entered the United States legally from Canada. He was living in Montreal, but entered the U.S. on June 16 in New York.
Around 9 a.m. June 21, 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 the officer.
"He spent a little time in the restroom, dropped both bags and came out," FBI Special Agent David 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."
Copyright 2017 by WDIV ClickOnDetroit - All rights reserved.