Attorneys seek 25 years for man in Michigan airport stabbing

By COREY WILLIAMS
Associated Press
DETROIT — A Montreal man convicted of stabbing a police officer at a Flint, Michigan, airport was in debt and saw the attack as a way to become a martyr while benefiting his wife and children financially through a life insurance policy, his attorneys wrote in a Thursday court filing.
Amor Ftouhi’s attorneys say he should get 25 years in prison and that he should serve that time in solitary confinement.
However, federal prosecutors say Ftouhi should be sentenced to life in prison for committing an act of terrorism transcending national boundaries and for interfering with airport security. They say he was on a mission to kill as many people as possible and then be killed himself.
Ftouhi was convicted in November on several charges in the June 2017 attack. Witnesses said Ftouhi, who is Muslim, yelled “Allahu akbar” — or “God is great” — while attacking Lt. Jeff Neville, who survived being stabbed in the neck.
Defense attorneys wrote that Ftouhi was depressed about being in debt and being unable to properly support his wife and children after he had moved them from Tunisia to Montreal. He also expected that other officers would have killed him and that his widow could have collected on his life insurance policy, they wrote.
“Mr. Ftouhi believed he had found a ‘solution’ to his financial and emotional predicament: become a martyr for Allah and earn a place in Paradise for him and his family as his reward,” they wrote in the memorandum. “Mr. Ftouhi truly believed this was the creative answer to all of his problems both in the present and in the afterlife.”