Michigan airport attacker to stay in jail pending trial

Police guard the building in Montreal where Flint airport stabbing suspect Amor Ftouhi lived before traveling to the United States (AFP Photo/Julien BESSET)

Chicago (AFP) - A US judge denied bond Wednesday to the Canadian man accused of stabbing a police officer at a Michigan airport, in what authorities are investigating as an act of terror.

Amor Ftouhi is charged with one count of committing an act of violence at an airport for stabbing a police officer in the neck at the Bishop International Airport in the city of Flint.

The attack comes amid a wave of jihadist-inspired attacks in Europe, but investigators have said there is no information to suggest that the Flint stabbing is part of a wider plot.

Ftouhi's attorney said during a bond hearing Wednesday at a federal court in Flint that the middle-aged father of three with dual Canadian and Tunisian citizenship would not ask for bond, and consented to remain in jail pending trial.

"Based on the nature of this charge, the parties agree that there would be a presumption in favor of detention," Ftouhi's attorney Joan Morgan told US Magistrate Judge Stephanie Davis.

"Immigration has a hold on him, so that even if this court were to grant him bond, he would not be released," she said.

Ftouhi is accused of yelling "Allahu Akbar" -- "God is greatest" in Arabic -- before stabbing airport police officer Jeff Neville in the neck.

"He further exclaimed something similar to, 'You have killed people in Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan, and we are all going to die,'" according to a court affidavit submitted by authorities.

Investigators said Ftouhi had unsuccessfully tried to purchase a gun while in the United States, prior to the attack.

Neville was released from the hospital on Monday and was said to be recovering.