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Federal violent crimes allegations arise from airport attack

Michigan sometimes deals with immigration problems that spill over into criminal arrests. Because the state borders another country, such problems arise daily but do not always contain the added aggravation of violent crimes. Recently, however, an immigrant was arrested in a Michigan airport for allegedly attacking and stabbing a police officer in the neck.

The FBI carried out the arrest of the 49-year-old man who faces charges of causing violence with a weapon at an international airport. Additional state or federal charges could be filed. The federal agency indicated that it is looking at the alleged violation as a possible terrorist act, which could justify additional federal charges. It is alleged that the accused was ranting anti-American slogans about failed United States policies in the Middle East. The FBI reported, however, that the man is not believed to have been a part of a cell or organized terrorist network.

The man, reportedly a Canadian citizen, allegedly entered the United States from Quebec. After apprehending the suspect, federal agents said that he had been cooperating. That may mean that he has given information that is incriminating without the assistance of counsel, but that fact is not confirmed. Questioning by the authorities may elicit suppressible statements if the individual has not been duly advised of his right to counsel under the circumstances.

If the eyewitness accounts are correct and the police have apprehended the actual perpetrator of the attack, defense counsel may likely turn to defense strategies that admit the accusatory actions in whole or in part. Motive and intent may turn out to be the deciding factors in evaluating the accused for sentencing purposes. It may be that an insanity plea is a feasible consideration, and such a possible defense should be considered and ruled under Michigan or federal law whenever an accused is charged with committing violent crimes and is in a highly emotional mental condition. The defendant's attitude of cooperation under these circumstances may create mitigating factors to lessen the sentence or to add treatment options to facilitate rehabilitation.

Source: theglobeandmail.com, "Canadian man arrested after police officer stabbed in Michigan airport", Les Perreaux, June 21, 2017

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