RAMLE, Israel – Israeli police said Friday the suspect instabbings in three states also was a suspect in a separate stabbing attack in Israel earlier this year, but charges were never pressed.
A senior police commander said Elias Abuelazam was believed to have stabbed a close acquaintance during an argument in a parked car in central Israel about six months ago. The commander said police dropped the case because the victim refused to cooperate with investigators.
The commander spoke on condition of anonymity because he was barred from speaking to the media under official policy.
Abuelazam is suspected of attacking people in Michigan, Ohio and Virginia, leaving five people dead and 13 wounded. He was arrested Wednesday in Atlanta as he prepared to board a flight to his native Israel.
The 33-year-old man appeared in an Atlanta courtroom on Friday, agreeing during a brief hearing to return to Michigan to face charges in one of the attacks an attempted murder in a July 27 knife strike in Flint, Mich., that put the victim in a hospital for a week. Authorities said more charges were expected in the three states.