Officer injured in suspected terrorist attack may leave Flint hospital soon

The man who stabbed an airport policeman at Bishop International Airport in Flint tried to unsuccessfully buy a gun in the USA before Wednesday's attack, Federal Bureau of Investigation officials said today.

Ftouhi himself appeared in federal court hours after the attack, charged with committing violence at an airport.

The 49-year-old has been remanded in prison ahead of a hearing scheduled to take place next week.

Authorities say Amor M. Ftouhi, a Tunisian national with dual citizenship in Canada, struck Neville with a 12-inch knife with a green handle and a black serrated blade marked "Amazon Jungle Survival Knife" while yelling "Allahu Akbar", which means "God is great" in Arabic.

Licensed gun dealers first must put purchasers through an electronic background check of USA law enforcement databases, which could make Canadians ineligible, said Brady Schickinger, director of the Michigan Coalition for Responsible Gun Owners.

When Neville got to the hospital, he had a 12-inch laceration that extended from near the front of his throat to the back of his neck and went as high as his jaw, the doctor said.

Neville fought off Ftouhi and was helped within seconds by others in the airport. Dr. Donald Scholten said he is making good progress after being stabbed from "by his Adam's apple" up "to the angle of his jaw". He doesn't use drugs or alcohol, last worked about two weeks ago and said he has no mental or physical health problems, the court was told from information Ftouhi provided.

Acting U.S. Attorney of the Eastern District of Michigan Daniel Lemisch also attended the news conference and said more charges are likely.

David P. Gelios, the special agent in charge of the FBI's Detroit office, said Ftouhi was not any law enforcement watch lists for terrorist suspects in the United States or Canada.

Ftouhi asked an officer who subdued him why he did not kill him, according to the criminal complaint.

Three people staying at the residence had been taken in for questioning, Boiselle said.

He legally entered the U.S.at Champlain, N.Y., on June 16 and was in MI by at least June 18, said Gellios, who would not say whether Ftouhi entered the US under a so-called trusted traveler program. The FBI said Wednesday that the agency is investigating the incident as an act of terrorism. Police described him as "cooperative" and said he was talking to investigators.

  • Leroy Wright