Thursday, 12 August 2010

Israeli serial killer arrested in U.S.

Elias Abuelazam, alleged to have committed a series of stabbings in three U.S. states, was arrested in Atlanta as he tried to board a Delta flight to Tel Aviv.

An Israeli man suspected in a string of 20 stabbings that terrorized people across three U.S. states and left five dead was arrested at an airport 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.

Israeli media reported that Abuelazam, an Israeli citizen and former resident of Ramle, recently visited Israel, but has been living in the U.S. legally.

Abuelazam was stopped while trying to board a Delta Air Lines flight to Tel Aviv, Israel, said Rafael Lemaitre, a spokesman at U.S. Customs and Border Protection.

"He has ties to Flint and to Leesburg, Va., the site of three similar attacks last week," Leesburg Police Officer Chris Jones said.

"While this is a key step in the investigation there are still many issues that need to be addressed before we identify this individual as the person responsible for this horrific crime spree," Jones said.

Police had focused their hunt on Flint — where 16 stabbings took place — until Leesburg police reported three attacks. Authorities in Toledo, Ohio, say a stabbing in that city Saturday appears to be linked to the violent spree.

Atlanta authorities got involved when the suspect was arrested at the airport, said Atlanta Police spokesman Carlos Campos.

"It's not our investigation," he said. "We simply were involved in the apprehension."

The Israeli consulate in Atlanta was in touch with the U.S. government to get information about the case, spokeswoman Amanda Flaks said.

As of Wednesday afternoon, a task force led by the Michigan State Police and including the FBI had received 469 tips.

The attacks began surfacing in late spring, and picked up the pace as the stabber traversed the country.

Police have said they usually follow a pattern: The suspect approaches black men late at night on lonely urban roads and asks for directions or help with a broken-down car. Then, without warning, he pulls out a knife and strikes. Then, he speeds away in his vehicle, leaving them for dead.

The brazen nature and the frequency of the attacks — the assailant has struck an average of about once every four days since the first stabbing in May — has terrified some of those in cities he's already targeted.

The victims have been mostly black, and police suspect the attacks may have been racially motivated. The youngest victim was 17; the oldest was 60. They ranged in size from 5-foot-4 inches and 120 pounds to 6-foot-1 and 190 pounds.


Anonymous said...

Okay... except Elias Abuelazam is a Muslim.

Anonymous said...

You have to laugh at these'Insiders'and their claims.

Anonymous said...

hes christian not muslim