Flint airport stabber convicted in terrorism case

Robert Snell
The Detroit News
Amor Ftouhi

Amor Ftouhi, a Tunisian national charged with terrorism and stabbing a police officer during a terror attack last year at Bishop International Airport in Flint, was convicted of all charges Tuesday following a five-day jury trial in federal court.

Ftouhi, 51, faces up to life in prison for the June 2017 attack and will be sentenced by U.S. District Judge Matthew F. Leitman on March 7 in Flint. He also was convicted of committing violence at an international airport and interfering with airport security.

Jurors deliberated for 75 minutes — including lunch.

"Ftouhi conducted research in Canada and entered our country with a plan to obtain a weapon and kill American police officers," said Assistant Attorney General for National Security John Demers. "With today’s guilty verdict, he will be held accountable for his brutal knife attack on an airport police officer in Flint.”

Ftouhi was facing three charges, including committing an act of terrorism transcending national boundaries. He was on trial and accused of using a machete to stab Bishop Airport police Lt. Jeff Neville, who survived the attack.

Lt. Jeff Neville

A witness said Ftouhi walked up to the airport police officer, yelled “Allahu Akbar,” pulled out a knife, stabbed the officer in the neck and said, ‘You have killed people in Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan, and we are all going to die,’ ” according to the federal criminal complaint against Ftouhi.

Ftouhi came to the United States after conducting online research into American gun laws and Michigan gun shows, prosecutors allege.

He tried unsuccessfully to buy a gun, bought a knife and used it to stab Neville, according to court records.

Ftouhi later told investigators he was a “soldier of Allah” and that he subscribed to the ideology of al-Qaida and Osama bin Laden.

Federal authorities say Ftouhi acted alone and that the suspect “wanted to identify” an international airport to carry out his attack but officials declined to say what made him pick Flint.

Ftouhi is believed by authorities to have traveled to the United States legally from Canada on June 16, 2017, through Lake Champlain, New York, and then entered Michigan on June 18, 2017.

He had lived in Canada for the previous decade.


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