FRESNO, Calif. (AP) — A California college student who went on a stabbing rampage that wounded four people before he was shot down by a campus police officer was inspired by the Islamic State group but acted alone, the FBI said Thursday.
Faisal Mohammad, 18, appears to have become self-radicalized, drawing motivation from terrorist propaganda that he found online before launching the Nov. 4 attack at the University of California, Merced, authorities said.
“Every indication is that Mohammad acted on his own,” Gina Swankie, a spokeswoman for the FBI’s Sacramento field office, said in a statement. “It may never be possible to definitively determine why he chose to attack people on the U.C. Merced Campus.”
The knife attack happened a month before a gun-wielding husband-and-wife team in San Bernardino killed 14 people and wounded 21 others at a workplace holiday party. In that case, too, investigators said they were influenced by the IS, but not directly connected to it. Like Mohammad, they had not raised red flags that put them on a watch list.
In both cases family members said they were unaware of their loved ones’ interests in terrorists groups.
In Merced, Mohammad burst into a classroom, stabbing two students. He stabbed a construction worker who intervened, then ran from the building, where he knifed a school employee sitting on a bench. Police shot and killed Mohammad.
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