A Canadian convicted of a knife attack at a Michigan airport was sentenced Thursday to life in prison for what officials said was a “mission to kill” Americans.
Amor Ftouhi, who is of Tunisian descent, was convicted in November of carrying out an attack at the airport in the city of Flint, after traveling into the country from Quebec in June 2017.
“The evidence at trial demonstrated that Ftouhi had a ‘mission’ to kill as many American law enforcement as possible in an act of violent jihad,” US Attorney Matthew Schneider of the Eastern District of Michigan said in a statement.
Ftouhi made repeated unsuccessful attempts to purchase a gun before the attack, but settled for a knife instead, according to officials.
On June 20, four days after he entered the country, the 51-year-old father of three approached an airport police officer and twice stabbed him in the neck.
The officer survived.
Officials said Ftouhi had wanted to steal the officer’s gun and shoot others at the airport.
During the attack, Ftouhi referenced killings in Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan and yelled “Allahu Akbar,” according to officials.
Flint-based US District Judge Matthew Leitman sentenced Ftouhi to the maximum penalty of life in prison for the charge of committing an act of terrorism transcending national boundaries and two other offenses connected to the attack.
“The sentence today reflects his extreme dangerousness and the need to prevent him from further acts of violence in the future,” Schneider said.