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terrorism

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.”

U.S. Army/Department of Defense

A Michigan congressman is highly critical of the deal the Obama administration struck to win the release of America’s only prisoner-of-war in the Afghan war.

The Taliban released Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl after holding him for five years because the U.S. agreed to release five senior Taliban leaders from Guantanamo Bay.

olympic.org/photos/sochi-2014

Michigan Sen. Debbie Stabenow is joining other members of Congress who are expressing concern about security at the Winter Olympic games next month in Russia.

There are concerns that the games face an unprecedented terrorist threat level.

Stabenow says Russian authorities have not shared enough of their security plans for the games.

Steve Carmody/Michigan Radio

Members of Congress, including one from Michigan, say they have serious concerns about Americans' safety at next month's Olympics in Russia, and they want Moscow to cooperate more on security.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has promised his country will do all it can to ensure a safe Olympics.

The State Department has advised Americans planning to go that they should keep vigilant about security because of potential terrorist threats, crime and uncertain medical care.

Mlive.com

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (AP) - A Michigan man claims he tipped federal investigators to the location of Osama bin Laden's compound in Pakistan years before his killing and is seeking the $25 million reward.

A letter obtained Friday by The Associated Press from a Chicago-based law firm representing Grand Rapids resident Tom Lee says the 63-year-old gem merchant reported the location of bin Laden's compound in Abbottabad in 2003.

DETROIT (AP) - Charges have been dismissed against a Saudi man arrested at Detroit Metropolitan Airport after a pressure cooker was found in his bag.

Hussain Al Khawahir was arrested May 11th and charged with giving false statements to federal agents and possessing an altered passport. Authorities said he lied about why he was traveling with the pressure cooker.

The U.S. Attorney's Office told the Detroit Free Press in a statement Friday that Hussain Al Khawahir "will go immediately into the custody of U.S. Customs and Border protection for removal" from the U.S.

On today's program, we explore the idea of secret work groups crafting public policy in Lansing, and how transparent Michigan's government should be.

And we look at whether expanding the lottery to the internet is a good idea.

We'll also hear how new technology being developed here in Michigan might be able to help authorities identify potential threats in airports or in large crowds.

user g7ahn / Flickr

In the aftermath of school shootings, theater shootings, and bombings, the question of security screening has become real and important.

How do we balance privacy concerns and rights with the need to screen for potential threats?

A University of Michigan professor is working on that challenge: building a better security detector.

Dr Kamal Sarabondi is a professor of electrical engineering, and he's the director of the Radiation Laboratory at the University of Michigan.

He's gotten funding from the U.S. Department of Defense and is developing a long-range radar technology as a means to detect a concealed object. He explains what it is and how it differs from what we have today.

Listen to the full interview above.

TimeFramePhoto.com

The two thousand runners expected to take part in this Sunday’s Lansing marathon can expect to see tight security along the 26-mile course.

The added security is in response to Monday’s deadly bombing at the finish of the Boston Marathon.

Lansing Police Chief Teresa Szymanski says people attending the Lansing marathon will be protected.

“We’ll certainly have additional patrols….we’ll have extra officers working the event. We’ll take precautionary measures…such as bomb sweeps and those types of things we do for these events,” says Szymanski.

Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Stuart Phillips / Official U.S. Navy Imagery

Congressman Justin Amash (R-Grand Rapids) and the American Civil Liberties Union are teaming up to talk about national security.

Amash is more libertarian than many Republicans. While he and the ACLU don’t see eye to eye on everything, ACLU of Michigan Deputy Director Mary Bejian called Amash “one of the ACLU’s strongest allies in congress on these important national security issues.”

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