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MI airport attacker failed to buy a gun

23 June 2017

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.

David P. Gelios, the F.B.I.'s special agent in charge, attributed the attack to Mr. Ftouhi's "hatred for the United States and a variety of other things".

Luciano Piazza, the building's owner and landlord, said Ftouhi moved into the apartment with his wife and children five years ago.

Detroit FBI head David Gelios said Ftouhi unsuccessfully tried to buy a gun once he arrived in the US but instead managed to buy a large knife. He did not elaborate.

The FBI is now investigating the attack as a possible act of terrorism, in coordination of the Canadian authorities, but it seems to be a lone-wolf attack.

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

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The FBI said Ftouhi asked cops: "Why did you not kill me?"

And on Wednesday, that rage exploded in an airport in Flint, Mich., when the Montreal father of three stabbed a police officer in the neck with a combat knife.

On Wednesday evening, the police conducted a raid on the apartment in the St. -Michel neighborhood of Montreal where Mr. Ftouhi lived. But Flint's airport is called Bishop International Airport.

He could face up to 20 years in prison and more charges could be added, officials said.

Craig Williams, Flint's airport director, said security is a top priority at the airport, but that he is not yet in a position to make a policy comment on what security levels exist at the airport.

No one else appears to have been involved and there is no information to suggest a wider plot, officials said.

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A Facebook account that appears to belong to Ftouhi indicates that he was born in Tunisia, where he studied in the faculty of humanities and social sciences at the University of Tunis.

"However, he left the company before obtaining his certificate", Mr. Picard wrote. Montreal police spokesman Benoit Boiselle said officers were assisting the Royal Canadian Mounted Police in the search on behalf of an Federal Bureau of Investigation request.

Boiselle said three people staying at the residence had been taken in for questioning. He said he was surprised by the arrest, as he'd never had any problems with Ftouhi or his family. "He came across as strict, quiet".

North African emigrants often choose to settle in the French-speaking province of Quebec, drawn by its immigration policies that favor francophone applicants. "I said they need to get him a towel".

In tracing Ftouhi's steps, investigators discovered that he bought the knife he used in the attack after crossing into the USA on June 16, and had also attempted to buy a firearm, FBI Special Agent David Gelios told a news conference.

He spent some time in public, unsecured areas of the airport before going to a restroom where he dropped two bags before attacking the officer with a 12-inch knife that had an 8-inch serrated blade, Gelios said.

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Hospital officials in Flint, Michigan, are expected to discuss the medical condition of an airport officer stabbed during what federal officials are investigating as an act of terrorism.

MI airport attacker failed to buy a gun