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FBI suspects terrorism in airport police stabbing

A police dog and handler search cars in a car park at Bishop International Airport on Wednesday morning. Picture by Jake May/The Flint via AP
By Jeff Karoub and Mike Householder

THE FBI is looking at terrorism as a possible motive after an officer was stabbed in the neck at the Flint airport, a law enforcement official said.

The Wednesday attack prompted an evacuation and beefed up security elsewhere in the Michigan city.

A second law enforcement official said authorities were investigating witness reports of comments the suspect made during the incident, including saying "Allah akbar", the Arabic phrase for "God is great".

White House press secretary Sean Spicer said President Donald Trump was briefed on the stabbing by Homeland Security Adviser Tom Bossert.

Michigan State Police Lt Mike Shaw said the condition of Bishop International Airport police Lt Jeff Neville had been upgraded from critical to stable by Wednesday afternoon.

Lt Shaw said one person is in custody and nobody else is believed to have been involved.

Lt Shaw said "everything is on the table" as far as motive is concerned, but cautioned against jumping to conclusions. The FBI is leading the investigation.

The primarily regional airport, which had been evacuated, is "shut down and secure", Lt Shaw said, and no other threats had been identified.

The FBI, with our local, state and federal law enforcement partners, is jointly investigating this incident to determine the nature and motive for the attack.

Witnesses described seeing the suspect led away in handcuffs by police, Lt Neville bleeding and a knife on the ground.

"The cop was on his hands and knees bleeding from his neck," Ken Brown told The Flint Journal.

"I said they need to get him a towel."

Cherie Carpenter, who was awaiting a flight to Texas to see her new grandchild, told Flint TV station WJRT she saw the attacker being led away in handcuffs.

She described the man in custody as appearing "blank, just totally blank".

Flint officials said they stationed police officers around City Hall after the incident a few miles away.

Mayor Karen Weaver said in a release Wednesday "the situation is under control" but officials sought to take "extra precautions".

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