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FBI says investigating Michigan stabbing as 'act of terrorism'

The injured police officer, identified as Jeff Neville, was out of surgery and in stable condition, a Michigan State Police spokeswoman told AFP. (Image source: Max Pixel) (Representative image) Photograph: (Others)

AFP Chicago, IL, United States Jun 21, 2017, 06.46 PM (IST)

The FBI said Wednesday it is investigating the stabbing of a police officer at a Michigan airport on Wednesday morning as an "act of terrorism."

The suspect, who is in custody and cooperating with investigators, is a Canadian resident in his 50s named Amor Ftouhi, FBI special agent David Gelios told a news conference. 

Authorities were conducting joint operations in Canada and the US in the wake of the non-fatal stabbing at Bishop International Airport in Flint, Michigan, Gelios said.  

Ftouhi, described by police as having a "hatred for the United States," is accused of stabbing airport officer Jeff Neville in the neck with a 12-inch knife in the public area of the airport.

No passengers were harmed in the assault, according to the airport which was evacuated and remained closed until further notice.

The injured police officer, identified as Jeff Neville, was out of surgery and in stable condition, a Michigan State Police spokeswoman told AFP. 

NBC News reported that the suspect stabbed the officer multiple times while shouting "Allahu Akbar" -- which means "God is greatest" in Arabic.

The FBI said authorities were "aware of reports that the attacker made statements immediately prior to or while attacking the officer."

"It is too early to determine the nature of these alleged statements or whether or not this was an act of terrorism," it added.

"The FBI, with our local, state and federal law enforcement partners, is jointly investigating this incident to determine the nature and motive for the attack," the agency said. 

NBC cited law enforcement officials as saying the suspect was from Quebec and has a Canadian passport.

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