A California university student whowent on a campus stabbing rampage that wounded four people before he was shot down by a campus police officer was inspired by Islamic State but acted alone, the FBI said Thursday.
Faisal Mohammad, 18, appears to have become self-radicalized, drawing his inspiration from terrorist propaganda that he found online, authorities said. The freshman studying at the University of California, Merced burst into a classroom on Nov. 4, slashing four over a dispute about a study group.
“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.”
Authorities say Mohammad, a freshman from Santa Clara, California, planned the attack for at least a week. Investigators say they found Islamic State propaganda on his laptop, and evidence that he had visited the terrorist group’s website and other extremist online sites.
So what if he “acted alone”? So-called “lone wolf” jihadism is just as dangerous to any innocents caught in its path as anything ISIS or al-Qaeda can mount. But as long as the American security services think that folks like young Faisal Mohammad — the name alone should have warranted him special scrutiny — are somehow lesser on the threat scale, and the more they insist on larger conspiracies among Islamic terrorists, the more we remain in danger.