ROANOKE, Va. (UPI) — The FBI is investigating whether a stabbing in Roanoke, Va., was inspired by Islamic State, law enforcement officials said.
Wasil Farooqui, 20, allegedly stabbed a man and a woman as they entered their apartment building Saturday night, seriously injuring them both.
Witnesses to the attack reported Farooqui shouted “Allahu Akbar” — Arabic for “God is great” — during the incident, indicating the attack may have been religiously motivated. A law enforcement official told CBS News the suspect may have been inspired by IS — also identified as Daesh, ISIS and ISIL.
The victims, identified as Karih Rezai and Taramati Harold, have no connection to Farooqui and were both hospitalized. A hospital spokeswoman had no information on their conditions.
Farooqui was charged with two counts of aggravated malicious wounding and was being held without bond at Western Virginia Regional Jail.
His next court appearance is scheduled for Sept. 1 and will determine if he requires a state-appointed attorney.
“While I cannot discuss details of the investigation at this time, I do want to reassure the community that we are working to determine the nature of the incident,” said Adam Lee, special agent in charge of the FBI’s Richmond Division.
According to a U.S. intelligence source, Farooqui caught the attention of the FBI several months ago after he attempted to travel to Syria. The source said Farooqui only made it as far as Europe before he returned to the United States, and noted that authorities aren’t sure of his citizenship.