Amor Ftouhi

Photo: U.S. Department of Justice

Flint Airport Stabbing Trial Won't Be Moved

September 07, 2018 - 7:35 am

FLINT (WWJ/AP) - A judge has rejected a request to move the trial of a man who is accused of stabbing a police officer at Flint's Bishop International Airport.

Judge Linda Parker said Thursday the jury pool in Flint federal court is drawn from 750,000 people -- plenty of whom can give Amor Ftouhi a fair trial.

Ftouhi's lawyers had asked to move the Nov. 5 trial to Detroit where the jury pool is even larger and where people might not have heard about the dramatic attack in June 2017.

Ftouhi, a native of Tunisia who lives in Montreal, is accused of stabbing Lt. Jeff Neville while yelling "Allahu Akbar," the Arabic phrase for "God is great." Neville survived.

The government alleges that Ftouhi entered the U.S. legally via New York on  June 16, 2017 -- five days before the attack. He then traveled to Michigan where authorities said he tried to buy a gun, but failed. Instead, the FBI said he purchased a 12-inch knife with an 8-inch serrated blade and made his way to the Flint airport.

Ftouhi left his baggage in the restroom, then allegedly stabbed Lt. Neville in the neck. As the attack went on, the FBI says Ftouhi continued to exclaim "Allah" and referenced killings in Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan — adding something to the effect of "you are all going to die." He was taken down by police and arrested at the scene.

After his arrest, Ftouhi allegedly told law enforcement that he was a “soldier of Allah” and subscribed to the ideology of al-Qaeda and Osama bin Laden.

He faces life in prison if convicted on charges of committing an act of violence and interfering with security, and committing an act of terrorism transcending national boundaries. 

Jury selection is scheduled to begin in November.