Amor Ftouhi, 50, was charged with violence at an international airport, acting US Attorney Daniel Lemisch said in a statement. Ftouhi is accused of stabbing Lt. Jeff Neville with a roughly 12-inch knife with an 8-inch serrated blade Wednesday morning.
He had his initial court appearance late Wednesday afternoon and will remain in custody pending a full detention hearing next week, a US District Court official said.
Ftouhi, who entered the United States legally in Lake Champlain, New York, on June 16, walked into a public area on the first level of Bishop International Airport, carrying two bags. But he wasn’t an airline passenger, Gelios said. He lingered about 40 minutes, including time in a restaurant, before attacking Neville, a criminal complaint said.
“He spent a little time in the restroom, dropped both bags and came out, pulled out a knife, yelled ‘Allahu akbar’ (God is the greatest) and stabbed Lt. Neville in the neck,” Gelios said.
After stabbing Neville, Ftouhi continued to yell “Allah” several times, the complaint said.
He also said something similar to “you have killed people in Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan, and we are all going to die,” the complaint said.
A law enforcement officer subdued Ftouhi, who asked the officer why he did not kill him, the complaint said.
Ftouhi could face up to 20 years in prison and more charges could be added, officials said. It wasn’t immediately clear whether Ftouhi had an attorney.
Neville, who was stabbed in the main terminal, was in satisfactory condition, said Chief Chris Miller of the Bishop Airport Safety Division. Neville had worked at the airport for years and rose to the rank of lieutenant in 2006, according to airport director Craig Williams.