Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 27 December 2014

Man arrested over stabbing spree

Elias Abuelazam has been arrested over a series of stabbings
Elias Abuelazam has been arrested over a series of stabbings

An Israeli citizen has been arrested by police at a US airport in connection with a three-month stabbing spree that left five dead and 13 others wounded.

Elias Abuelazam, a legal US resident, was charged in just one case out of Flint, Michigan, where most of the stabbings occurred, but authorities said more charges are expected there and in Ohio and Virginia.

The 33-year-old was arrested at a boarding gate at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport in Atlanta shortly before his plane to Tel Aviv was to take off.

Officers arrested him after he was paged over the intercom and told to report at a ticket counter. He was booked into the Fulton County Jail. Passengers on the Delta Air Lines flight were stunned but said Abuelazam appeared tense.

He was talking to someone on his cell phone "about not being violent and different things like that", passenger Eugene Williams said after the plane landed in Tel Aviv.

The killer would approach men on lonely roads at night, asking for directions or help with a broken-down car.

He would then pull out a knife, plunge it into his victim and speed away. However in one case he used a hammer. The killer's youngest victim was 15; the oldest 67.

At least 15 of the 18 victims were black but it is unclear whether the attacks were racially motivated, police said.

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