The mother of the suspect in a string of 18 stabbings that terrorized people across three states and left five dead tells Israel Radio she believes he is innocent.

The mother of Elias Abuelazam’s spoke to Israel Radio on Thursday, saying she talked on the phone with her son before his planned trip to Israel.

Speaking in Arabic, Iyam Al-Azzam said she doesn’t believe the accusations against her son are true. She called him a religious, God-fearing man who helps anyone who needs it.

Abuelazam was arrested in Atlanta on Wednesday night while the 33-year-old Israeli citizen was waiting to board a flight to Tel Aviv.

A judge in Flint, Mich., has signed a warrant charging Abuelazam with assault with intent to murder in a July 27 stabbing.

(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)


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