Flint airport stabbing suspect Ftouhi chants God is great in Arabic during court hearing

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Amor Ftouhi

The suspect accused of stabbing a Bishop Airport police officer was back in federal court Wednesday.

Canadian citizen Amor Ftouhi came into court chanting praises to Allah. Today the grand jury added a charge of interfering with airport security in a two-count federal indictment against Ftouhi, 49.

"Lawyers typically say my client stands mute and at that point the magistrate judge enters a plea of not guilty," said David Ashenfelter, spokesperson Federal District Court.

That is exactly what happened in about a five-minute hearing in federal district court in Flint. Ftouhi, from Quebec, came to the airport, on June 21 where it is alleged he said "God is great" in Arabic, and then stabbed airport security Lt. Jeff Neville in the neck.

On Monday security was heavy in the courtroom.

"This guy is not the underwear bomber," Ashenfelter said. "But because of what's involved here, I am not surprised there is heavy security."

What's involved is life in prison if Ftouhi is convicted.  Ftouhi spoke the words "God is great" in Arabic Wednesday as he was escorted to the front of the court in shackles, wearing a prison uniform. 

And although he had an Arabic interpreter, Ftouhi seem to understand the judge, who entered a not guilty plea on his behalf. 

"He could decide he wants to, he could demand a trial, it could be before a jury of before the judge," Ashenfelter said.

Unless there's a plea, Ftouhi will be tried here in Flint's federal court. But there are still a lot of questions we don't know - like why did he come to Flint and why did he go to Bishop International Airport.

And as the feds continue to investigate, there could possibly be other charges in the future.  For now, no trial date has been set on these charges.