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Prosecutor says Flint airport stabbing suspect on "a mission to murder"

Steve Carmody
Michigan Radio

Prosecutors say a Canadian man on trial for stabbing a Flint airport police officer was on a “mission to murder.”

The trial started Wednesday, with the seating of the jury and the first witnesses taking the stand.

In his opening statement, Assistant U.S. Attorney Jules DePorre said Amor Ftouhibelieved he was a “soldier for Allah.” He told the jury Ftouhi left his Montreal home and travelled to Flint so he could kill Americans, become a martyr, gain worldwide attention and embolden others. 

Prosecutors say Ftouhi left a will, in which he spoke of his love for Allah and Jihad.

Prosecutors played an airport surveillance video of the attack that severely injured Lt. Jeff Neville. He was stabbed twice from behind.

An airport maintenance worker recreated how he wrestled the attacker to the ground.

The prosecution expects to take several days to lay out its case.  

Ftouhi sat quietly, wearing a striped shirt and blue slacks during the first day of testimony in his trial. At a pretrial hearing, Ftouhi told the judge he's innocent of the charges.  

Ftouhi’s attorney plans to deliver her opening statement when she begins his defense.

The trial is expected to wrap up next week.

Steve Carmody has been a reporter for Michigan Public since 2005. Steve previously worked at public radio and television stations in Florida, Oklahoma and Kentucky, and also has extensive experience in commercial broadcasting.