airport
Police have cordoned off the four-story building where Michigan stabbing suspect Amor Ftouhi reportedly lives, in the Rosemont area of Montreal. AFP

By Oladipupo Mojeed with agency report

Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) says a knife attack on a Michigan airport police officer on Wednesday by a man yelling “Allahu Akbar” is being investigated as an act of terrorism.

The stabbing at Bishop International Airport, in the city of Flint, comes amid a wave of jihadist-inspired attacks in Europe, most recently a foiled bomb assault at a train station in Belgium.

US officials identified the suspected assailant, who is in custody and cooperating with investigators, as a 49-year-old Canadian resident from Quebec named Amor Ftouhi.

“We’re investigating this incident today as an act of terrorism,” FBI special agent David Gelios told a news conference, detailing Ftouhi’s actions on Wednesday morning based on security camera footage.

How he carried out the act

According to the police, Ftouhi was seen lingering with luggage around the airport’s non-secured public areas, including at a second-floor restaurant and a bathroom, before pulling out a 12-inch serrated-blade knife, yelling “Allahu Akbar” — “God is greatest” in Arabic — and stabbing an officer in the neck.

During the attack, Ftouhi “referenced killings in Syria, Iraq, and Afghanistan,” according to a press release from the US Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Michigan.

 

Officer in stable condition

Neville wrestled Ftouhi to the ground during the assault until others could arrest him, police said. He was hospitalised and is in a stable condition.

“Lieutenant Neville never stopped fighting until I handcuffed this person,” airport police chief Christopher Miller said.

No passengers were harmed in Wednesday’s assault, Bishop International officials said. The airport was evacuated and remained closed until 5 pm (2100 GMT).