Suspect held in connection with serial killing/stabbing of 18 African Americans

Authorities have identified the man arrested Wednesday at the Atlanta airport as Elias Abuelazam, 33, in connection with the stabbings of 20 people in Michigan, Virginia and Ohio.

He was arrested on a charge of assault with intent to murder. Five of the stabbing victims died.

Two sources said the man is an Israeli citizen who is in the United States legally. A federal law enforcement official involved in the investigation said the man was traveling on an expired Israeli passport.

The attacks have occurred in Michigan, Virginia and Ohio since first beginning in May. Police were conducting a multi-state search for a suspect and had recently released a composite sketch.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection officials said they arrested the man at 10 p.m. ET Wednesday as he attempted to board Delta Air Lines Flight 152 bound for Tel Aviv, Israel, at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport. A Department of Homeland Security official said the National Targeting Center had looked at the passenger list and saw his name on the manifest.

Upon confirmation of his identity, the man was placed in the custody of the FBI and Atlanta Police Department.

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