Amor Ftouhi, a Tunisian-Canadian, is alleged to have stabbed a Michigan police officer in the neck Wednesday in what appears to have been a terrorist attack in a Flint, Mich. airport. Here’s what we know about the attacker.
He Yelled “Allahu Akbar” Before Stabbing A Police Officer
Ftouhi, age 49, attacked Lt. Jeff Neville with what the FBI described as a large knife Wednesday morning. He entered the U.S. through Lake Champlain, N.Y. Friday and traveled to Flint. Authorities are unsure why he decided to go to Flint specifically.
Security camera footage shows Ftouhi entering the Bishop Airport at 8:52 a.m. with a “red duffle and a dark satchel bag.” At 9:10 a.m., he went to the second floor of the airport and entered a restaurant. Ftouhi left at 9:37 a.m. with both bags in tow, and went into a restroom. He left shortly after, leaving the bags behind, yelled “Allahu Akbar” and attacked Neville, who was standing nearby in full uniform. He continued to yell “Allah” several times after the stabbing, and reportedly said something similar to “you have killed people in Syria, Iraq, and Afghanistan, and we are all going to die,” according to the FBI’s criminal complaint. A law enforcement officer at the scene subdued Ftouhi shortly after the attack. Ftouhi reportedly asked the officer why he did not kill him.
He Used A Huge Knife
Ftouhi used a large knife with a green handle and a black serrated blade marked “Amazon Survival Knife.” It measures a total of 13 inches long. The weapon is sold on Amazon for approximately $15.
The Islamic State has recommended that its followers use long blades in one-off attacks in its propaganda materials.
He Was Born In Tunisia And Lived In Canada
Ftouhi was a native of Tunis, Tunisia and a Canadian citizen. He has three children and a wife, who he lived with in Montreal for the last 10 years. Many of his family members still live in Tunisia.
Ftouhi’s Facebook claims that he worked at an insurance company, but court officials said he worked “on and off” as a truck driver, according to MLive. He studied at Tunisia’s Faculty of Humanities at Tunis and O’Sullivan college in Montreal, according to his Facebook page.
Officials Believe The Attack Was An ‘Isolated Incident’
The FBI is investigating the attack as a possible terrorist attack, but has said it believes the stabbing was an “isolated incident.” Ftouhi’s possible connections to any terrorist group are unknown, however, his methods resemble those prescribed by groups like ISIS.
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