Man Accused of Stabbing Police Lieutenant at Flint Airport Indicted

Cheryl Sanders
July 6, 2017

A Tunisia native who lives in Quebec repeated the Arabic phrase for “God is great” prior to his arraignment Wednesday in the stabbing of a police officer at an airport in Flint.

Ftouhi, a 49-year old native of Tunisia, was arraigned Wednesday in federal court on charges of committing an act of violence at an worldwide airport and interfering with airport security.

Ftouhi's attorney, Joan Morgan, said during the brief hearing at the federal courthouse in Flint that her client would "stand mute", meaning he would not enter a plea, so U.S. Magistrate Judge Stephanie Dawkins Davis entered the not guilty pleas for him.

Previously facing up to 20 years in prison on count one, the 49-year-old Canadian and Tunisian dual-citizen now faces the potential of life in prison.

Our cameras will not be allowed inside the courtroom again this week, but we will have audio from the courtroom as well as a sketch artist.

Authorities say he stabbed a Bishop International Airport police lieutenant in the neck with a knife on June 21. The FBI said he bought a knife in the U.S. The attack was being investigated as a possible act of terrorism.

Neville is recovering after the attack, despite having a 30-centimetre wound that doctors say narrowly missed nerves and major arteries.

He then allegedly pulled out a knife and attacked Neville, who fought back and helped take down his attacker with the help of other officers and a maintenance man.

The wounded officer has been released from the hospital.

The FBI has said Ftouhi legally entered the Champlain, New York, on June 16.

Ftouhi, shackled and wearing a white T-shirt and orange trousers, chanted in Arabic "Allahu akbar" ("God is greatest") four times as he entered the courtroom on Wednesday afternoon and spoke again only to acknowledge he understood the charges and possible prison sentence he faced.

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