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terrorism

Antonio Espree
Mercedes Mejia / Michigan Radio


U.S. Department of Justice

When Amor Ftouhi arrives in court this week the only question is how many years in prison he'll face for stabbing a Flint airport police officer in 2017.

Last week, federal prosecutors and defense attorneys submitted their recommendations to U.S. District Judge Matthew F. Leitman. The two sides agree that Amor Ftouhi committed the crime. But they ask the judge to consider two different sentences.

Gerald R. Ford International Airport near Grand Rapids
Photo courtesy of the Gerald R Ford International Airport

The U.S. Justice Department says FBI agents arrested three men at Ford Airport in Grand Rapids Monday afternoon.

The government says one of them, Muse Abdikadir Muse (known as Muse Muse), was planning to fly from Grand Rapids to Somalia, allegedly to join ISIS.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

The jury is expected to get the case today of a man accused of stabbing a Flint airport police officer in June, 2017

Federal prosecutors wrapped up its case last week against Amor Ftouhi, with their final witness being the man he allegedly attacked.  On the stand, Jeff Neville described the attack that left a gaping wound in his neck.

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.

U.S. Dept. of Justice

Nearly a year and a half after an airport policeman was stabbed in Flint, the trial of the man accused of wielding the knife is set to begin.

Amor Ftouhi is facing several charges, including committing an act of terrorism transcending national boundaries. He faces life in prison if convicted of the most serious charge.

Jury selection is scheduled to begin Tuesday and will likely take a couple days.

U.S. Department of Justice

Approximately 100 prospective jurors are scheduled to fill out a lengthy questionnaire Monday in Flint.

The questionnaires will help attorneys decide who they want to decide the fate of the man accused in an alleged act of terrorism at Flint’s airport last year. 

Amor Ftouhi was arrested after a police officer was slashed in the neck at Flint’s Bishop International Airport in June 2017. The officer survived. 

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

A defense lawyer wants a mental health evaluation for the man accused of carrying out a terrorist attack at Flint’s airport last year.

Sarah Cwiek / Michigan Radio

A Detroit man now faces prison time for a 2016 Facebook rant against police.

Nheru Littleton pleaded guilty to making a terrorist threat this week. That was in the form of Facebook comments making general threats against police in July 2016, including statements like “Kill all white cops!” and “F**k them police.”

Amor Ftouhi
File photo / FBI

It appears likely the trial date for a suspect in a possible terrorist attack in Flint will be delayed.

Amor Ftouhi is scheduled to go on trial in January for allegedly slashing a police officer at Flint’s Bishop Airport in June. He’s charged with “violence at an international airport” and “interference with airport security.” He could face up to life in prison.  

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

The man accused of stabbing a police officer at the Flint airport last month now faces up to life in prison.

In a clear, confident voice, Amor Ftouhi said “Allahu Akbar” a half dozen times as he entered the federal courtroom for his arraignment. The only other times he spoke were to tell the judge he understood the charges against him.

U.S. Attorney General's office

The man charged in a suspected terrorist attack at Flint’s airport will spend the Independence Day weekend behind bars.

In a calm voice, Amor Ftouhi said “Allahu Akbar” twice as he entered a federal courtroom in Flint this morning. Ftouhi was shackled and wearing an orange jumpsuit. He also wore a small surgical mask which a court spokesman says is for "unspecified health reasons."

Ftouhi is from Montreal.  He has joint Canadian-Tunisian citizenship. 

The hearing was to determine if a judge would grant bail for the man accused to stabbing a police officer at Flint’s Bishop International Airport.  The officer is recovering from a 12-inch gash to his neck.

“This was a matter of millimeters,” says Dr. Donald Scholten, Hurvley Medical Center trauma surgeon, of how close the knife came to slashing arteries in Lt. Jeff Neville's neck.
steve carmody / Michigan Radio

A Flint airport police officer injured in a suspected terrorist attack this week is expected to go home after spending the weekend recovering at a local hospital.

Lt. Jeff Neville was stabbed in the neck at Flint’s Bishop International Airport Wednesday morning.    Investigators say 49-year-old Amor Ftouhi used a knife he purchased as he travelled from his home in Montreal to Flint.  

Dearborn Mosque
user rypix / FLICKR - HTTP://J.MP/1SPGCL0

One of the men behind the attacks in London on Saturday had closely followed the teachings of a radical American preacher, according to one of his friends.

That preacher is from Dearborn, Michigan, where the BBC’s Aleem Maqbool tried to catch up with him.

Protestors in support of Rasmea Odeh, a Palestinian American social activist and alleged terrorist, lined up outside of the federal courthouse on Lafayette street in Detroit.
Bryce Huffman / Michigan Radio

A federal judge accepted a plea deal from an alleged Palestinian American terrorist and activist today in Detroit.

Rasmea Odeh was initially charged with providing false information to the government when she emigrated to the U.S. over 20 years ago.

The charge was later changed to terrorism for two bombings she was allegedly involved in over 50 years ago.

Because of the plea deal, Odeh will lose her U.S. citizenship.

Nehru Littleton awaits Judge Vonda Evans' ruling in Wayne County Circuit Court.
Sarah Cwiek / Michigan Radio

A Detroit man will go to trial on terrorism charges for making threatening comments toward police officers on Facebook.

Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette charged Nehru Littleton, 40, with two felonies after he posted last July: “F   them racist a     white cops!!! Kill them ALL!!! Black Lives Matter!!! Black people should start killing all white cops just like they are killing us!!!”

Schuette announced the charges in October, after Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy declined to prosecute, saying there wasn’t enough evidence.

STEPHANE MIGNON / FLICKR / Creative Commons

A study from the University of Michigan suggests engaging at-risk youth is a key tactic for understanding and preventing terrorism. 

The study was led by U-M Research scientist Scott Atran and co-authored by professor of public policy Robert Axelrod.

According to the study, young adults often join extremist groups like ISIS because they are socially connected to others who have done the same. They say this is a response to being unable to organize in creative, nonviolent ways.

Michigan café owner's deportation fight simmers

Jan 19, 2016
Ibrahim Parlak at his cafe in Harbert, Michigan
Gabrielle Emanuel / Michigan Radio

On Wednesday, Congressman Fred Upton will meet with a man whom the U.S. government has been trying to deport for over a decade.

Some say Ibrahim Parlak is a terrorist.  Others say he’s a model immigrant.

Parlak runs a popular café in Harbert, a resort town in Southwest Michigan. On the day I visited, it was quiet and all the chairs were tucked in.

Parlak temporarily closed Café Gulistan because he says he needs to focus on fighting deportation.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

State lawmakers will consider a resolution backing the governor’s call to put a hold on bringing Syrian refugees into Michigan. 

State Senator Patrick Colbeck says his resolution is about safety.

“It’s about making sure we have taken all due diligence to fulfill our first responsibility as elected officials and that’s securing public safety,” says Colbeck. 

Governor Snyder asked the Obama administration to review its refugee vetting process, after the Paris terrorist attacks that killed more than a hundred people.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Fans will notice enhanced security at this week’s U of M - Ohio State football game.  

There will be a lot on the line on the field at the Big House when the Wolverines and the Buckeyes face off on Saturday.

The lines to get in will be big too.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

The recent wave of terrorist attacks in Europe and the Middle East have police reviewing their security plans for big events, including a major holiday event this Friday in downtown Lansing.

Up to 80,000 people are expected to head to Lansing Friday night for the annual Silver Bells event, which includes a parade and lighting of the state Christmas tree on the Capitol grounds. 

Dearborn Mosque
user rypix / FLICKR - HTTP://J.MP/1SPGCL0

Dearborn’s large Lebanese community continues to grieve those it lost in Thursday’s twin suicide bombings in Beirut.

“You’ve never seen a wife and husband love each other so much,” says Dearborn resident Mehdi Taleb of his sister, Leila Taleb, and her husband Hussein Mostapha.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Drivers passing by military recruiting centers in the Flint area may be surprised to see armed men standing outside.

“We’re protecting those who protect us,” says Dave McKellar. 

McKellar and other local militia group members say they are there in response to last week’s deadly shooting spree in Chattanooga, Tennessee. 

U.S. Army photo Staff Sgt. Kimberly Bratic / Staff Sgt. Kimberly Bratic

A state lawmaker wants to require Michigan National Guardsmen to be armed when on duty, even if they are just staffing a recruiting office.

State Representative Gary Glenn says military personnel need to be ready at all times to defend themselves. 

“They’re trained to protect us.  They ought to be able to protect themselves,” says Glenn. 

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

The Michigan State Police is among several law enforcement agencies on heightened alert for possible terrorism this holiday weekend.

Concerns have been raised by recent terrorist attacks in other parts of the world.

user redjar / Flickr

Transportation Security Administration officers rallied at Detroit Metro Airport on Wednesday afternoon, demanding more armed personnel at airports across the country.

Alan Jackimowicz is American Federation of Government Employees Council 100 Executive Vice President. He represents 46,000 TSA screeners in the U.S. He suggests Congress cut spending overseas to pay for improved domestic airport security.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

The state Senate Judiciary committee will consider a bill tomorrow that would make it easier for criminals to have part of their records expunged.

House Bill 4186 would allow people convicted of a single felony or a couple of misdemeanors to apply to have them removed from their record.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

This week’s attack on the Canadian Parliament building raises questions about security at all government buildings.

On Wednesday, a lone gunman shot and killed a soldier standing guard at the national war memorial in Ottawa. The gunman was later shot and killed inside the parliament building.  

President Obama and Vice President Biden meet with bicameral leadership of Congress regarding foreign policy in the Oval Office, Sept. 9, 2014.
Peter Souza / White House

President Obama will speak to the nation tonight at 9 p.m. from the White House. He's expected to lay out details of his plan to address the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria. 

Tune in to Michigan Radio for NPR's live coverage of the speech.

The president is expected to start speaking at 9:01:30 p.m. and the White House says the president's remarks will run approximately 15 minutes or less. 

More from NPR:

NPR News will provide live anchored special coverage hosted by Robert Siegel that will include the president's speech and analysis.  Robert will be joined in studio by Pentagon correspondent Tom Bowman; White House correspondent Scott Horsley; Congressional reporter Juana Summers; and Middle East correspondent Deb Amos will join our coverage from the region.

In advance of the president's speech, NPR's Greg Myre addresses five questions "likely to determine the success or failure of any military mission." 

And the Washington Post tells us why Obama prefers giving these speeches from the East Room in the White House. 

A Muslim civil rights group is suing the federal government on behalf of five Michigan plaintiffs who are challenging their placement on the government’s “terror watchlist.”

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