A suspect in a string of 18 stabbings that terrorized people across three states and left five dead was arrested in front of startled passengers at an airport gate as he tried to board a plane for Israel, officials said Thursday. A judge in Flint, Mich., where the attacks began in late May, signed a warrant Thursday charging Elias Abuelazam, 33, with assault with intent to murder in connection with a July 27 stabbing.
UPDATE 8/13/2010.WASHINGTON POST... An Israeli Arab, Elias Abuelazam, 33, was raised in a respectable Greek Orthodox Christian family, acquaintances said. His late father owned a grocery store, and his mother had a small sewing shop at home. He was an only son, with five sisters, all married. "He was really a good kid," said Bahjat Dasouki, who lives next door to the family. "He didn't lack anything." Sami Abu Muammar, a neighbor who described himself as a former drug addict, said that as a teenager, Abuelazam had begun slipping into the local drug scene and that his mother wanted him out of Ramla before things got worse. "She didn't want him to get deeper into drugs or crime, so she sent him over there," he said. "It was drug city here, and she wanted to get him out of it."
The home address listed for Abuelazam is Fountain Lakes Condominium in Bradenton Fl, according to an arrest warrant obtained by the Flint (Mich.) Journal. Antwoine Marshall, 26, of Flint, the victim of that attack, told The Associated Press that the FBI visited him at 3 a.m. to show him a picture of the man arrested in Atlanta, and he identified him as the assailant.
Marshall said he was going into his apartment building when the assailant approached and asked for help fixing his car. He was stabbed twice when he opened the hood. Three of his organs were cut, and he has a long scar from his chest to his pelvic area. Marshall said he wants to "retaliate" but "I'll let God handle it. Every time I look at my scar, I get angry."
In Michigan, Genesee County Prosecutor David Leyton said authorities still don't know the motive. Most victims were black, and police have said the attacks may have been racially motivated, though Leyton said there was no evidence of that. Atlanta police said they went to Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport at the request of Michigan State Police and paged Abuelazam over the intercom as he waited to board a Delta Air Lines flight to Tel Aviv, more from this source......
Elias Abuelazam, an Israeli national legally in the United States, was detained late Wednesday at the departure gate, Stephen Kremer, the area port director for US Customs and Border Protection in Atlanta, told AFP. Elias Abuelazam was carrying an expired Israeli passport and a valid "green card" authorizing him to live in the United States, Kremer said. According to the Flint Journal, Abuelazam has had several brushes with the law in the past, including having his driving licence suspended, giving alcohol to a minor and simple assault.
AP NEWS WIRE ISRAEL...Ellias Abuelazam's mother, Iyam al-Azzam, told Israel Radio that she talked to him by phone before he was supposed to board a plane in Atlanta "and he sounded the same as usual, quiet and calm." "I do not believe these charges are true," she said. "Elias, my son, is a religious, God-fearing man who always assists anyone who needs help."
Serial Murder suspect Ellias Abuelazam is not a Muslim, he is a Israeli National and was born into a Christian Arab family.
Ellias Abuelazam hails from Israel's tiny Christian Arab minority, which make up less than 1 percent of the country's population of 7 million. One-fifth of Israel's citizens are Arab, and less than one-tenth of Israeli Arabs are Christian. Neighbors on Abuelazam's street in an Arab section of the poverty-stricken Israeli town of Ramla said Friday that they were shocked by the charges. They identified the suspect as the son of a good family who lost his father when he was young.
YNet Israeli News...Israeli 'serial killer' described as 'bulky, frightening character'. Ramla's Christian community members describe Abuelazam as 'character you don't want to mess with,' say he sometimes used drugs, returned to US after getting into violent brawl with friend, Elias Abuelazam, 33, who is suspected of committing five murders in the United States, is well known in Ramla's Christian Arab community.
The Israeli citizen moved to the United States when he was still a child, after his mother remarried. His family moved back to Ramla after some years abroad. His divorcee, Jessica, was stunned to hear the news, and said she was shocked. Abuelazam, who was detained after boarding a Delta flight from Atlanta to Tel Aviv, visited Israel only six months ago. According to information obtained by the police, Abuelazam was involved in a violent brawl with a friend, after which he left back to the US.
Abuelazam's acquaintances said he stayed close to his mother's house near the municipal market in Ramla. He didn’t have a steady job and was largely financed by his mother. Acquaintances also said Abuelazam sometimes used drugs and got entangled in fights. "He is a bulky man, a frightening character; someone you don’t want to mess with," said an acquaintance.
Abuelazam did not have any serious criminal record with the police, and was not defined as a felon. He allegedly returned to the United States after violently attacking a friend who verbally assaulted him while he was intoxicated. Despite these incidents, the allegations against Abuelazam caught the Ramla community by surprise and quickly turned into the day's topic.
Bill Warner Private Investigator, SEX, CRIME, CHEATERS & TERRORISM.