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33 year-old Elias Abuelazam has been arrested in an Atlanta airport after months of searching for the man connected to over 20 stabbings, mainly taking place in Michigan, Ohio, and Virginia. The serial stabber was attempting to board a flight to Israel on an expired passport when officials arrested the Israeli native.
According to ABC News, the all-male attacks began May 24, with the most recent stabbing occurring on August 2 in Virginia. Pegged as the Flint serial stabber, Abuelazam would approach his victims during the early morning hours asking for directions, or some form of friendly assistance in order to lure them to his car and stab them with an edged weapon. "Its a very, very violent type of crime. Maybe he's enjoying watching them wriggle around in pain. But we really don't know what he's thinking, and we won't until we bring him in and talk to him," according to Michigan prosecutor David Leyton.
In addition to a similar attack pattern, there is also a disturbing trend in Abuelazams' victims. All but three of the stabbings were perpetrated on an African-American male, ranging in age from 17 to 60. To date, five of the stabbing victims have died from their violent encounter with the serial stabber.
Currently, Michigan (where the majority of attacks occurred) is seeking to extradite the serial stabber, according to CNN. Extradition from one state to another is the process of the state in custody of the individual (in this case, Georgia) giving him over to another state for criminal trial and punishment. If Elias Abuelazam does not contest the process, he could be in Michigan as early as the end of the week. Otherwise, a judge in Atlanta will decide whether extradition is appropriate in this case. Luckily, a domestic extradition is a much easier and quicker process than attempting to extradite Abuelazam from another country, which would have been the case if he would have boarded his flight. Capture of the Flint serial stabber is the first step in the process that may take a while to tie him back to all the similar stabbings that have taken place over recent months.