A University of California, Merced student who went 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 UC 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.
During the rampage, Mohammad carried a backpack containing a two-page, hand-written plan, saying that he intended to take hostages while killing students and police officers, the FBI investigators said.
He also had a photocopy of an Islamic State flag and a list of items he would need for the attack — zip ties, glass breakers and a knife. But none of Mohammad's belongings indicate he was working with anyone or directed by a terrorist group, the FBI said.