Doctors: Officer stabbed at airport recovering

"It is a good news story that we have an individual who attempted to buy a gun in the United States and was unsuccessful", Agent Gelios told reporters.

The airport police officer who was stabbed in the neck at Bishop International Airport in Flint, Michigan, on Wednesday morning, was able to stop the assault within a minute and "never stopped fighting" until the attacker was in handcuffs, officials said.

CNN reported on Thursday that Ftouhi attempted to purchase a gun after arriving in the Flint area but was denied because he is not a US citizen.

The attack just before 10am (14:00 GMT) at Bishop International Airport prompted an evacuation and extra security elsewhere in the MI city which lies about 100km north-west of Detroit.

The 50-year-old reportedly shouted "Allahu akbar", the Arabic phrase for "God is great", before striking the officer.

There are also reports that he said something to the effect of "You have killed people in Syria, Iraq, and Afghanistan, and we are all going to die". Neville is in stable condition after undergoing surgery, a MI state police spokeswoman told HuffPost.

Ftouhi was a native of Tunis, Tunisia and a Canadian citizen.

The Canadian authorities say they are only assisting the FBI, which is leading the investigation.

Investigators are probing the incident at the Bishop International Airport in Flint as an act of terrorism, coming amid a wave of jihadist-inspired attacks in Europe.

The airport officer was rushed to the hospital but suffered the hemorrhage on the way at around 9:56 a.m. Scholten and said he entered the operating room with a special team assembled at 10:06 a.m.

During a court hearing on Wednesday, it was learned that Ftouhi is from Tunisia and several family members still reside there. He lives in Montreal, doesn't use drugs or alcohol and last worked about two weeks ago, the court was told.

Ftouhi has been charged with committing an act of violence at an airport, which carries a maximum penalty of up to 20 years in prison. Neville suffered critical injuries to his neck, but is now recovering at an area hospital.

The FBI maintains Ftouhi crossed into the United States at Champlain, N.Y. on June 16, and appears to have arrived in MI two days later.

"The profile is a bit atypical", said David Morin, a professor at Université de Sherbrooke and co-director of the Observatory on Radicalization and Violent Extremism, adding that Ftouhi had apparently passed "completely under the radar" of law enforcement.

Immediately after Neville was attacked by Amor Ftouthi, his colleagues and fellow first responders worked to control the bleeding.

He is thought to be a lone-wolf attacker and not part of a larger group. All passengers were safe, Flint authorities said.

  • Zachary Reyes