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ISIS inspired Faisal Mohammad’s stabbing spree on campus

The attacks took place last Nov. 4, on the UC Merced campus. At the time, the San Francisco Chronicle reported 18-year-old freshman Faisal Mohammad entered a classroom and stabbed a fellow student. A construction worker nearby heard the commotion and ran to the room thinking it was a fight. He too was stabbed but said he managed to kick the attacker in the head.

Mohammad then left the classroom and stabbed another student and an academic advisor. None of the wounds proved fatal. He was later shot and killed by campus police while still in possession of a large hunting knife and other paraphernalia.

A manifesto was found explaining his plans and both the university and local authorities said at the time the stabbings were a result of Mohammad getting kicked out of a study group and had nothing to do with terrorism or religious extremism. But the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security were called in to aid in the investigation.

Yesterday, the FBI office in Sacramento issued a release concluding the stabbings were carried out because Mohammad had been inspired by ISIS.

The FBI, after conducting extensive interviews and examining Mohammad’s electronic devices, found Mohammad had been planning the attack for at least a week. He had plans to take hostages and kill police officers as well as students and was in possession of items at the time of his death that would have assisted him in his plans. These included zip-tie handcuffs, duct tape and petroleum jelly to make the floor slippery if others approached him.

The FBI also determined the 18-year-old had visited extremist websites in the weeks leading up to the stabbings and was in possession of a photocopy of an ISIS flag when he was killed.

The FBI could not find any direct association with ISIS or any other known terrorist organizations. There was also no evidence he had co-conspirators and the agency concluded he was probably self-radicalized although his true motivations as to why he conducted an attack on the campus may never be known.

In an interview with the Merced Sun-Star, FBI spokeswoman, Gina Swankie, refused to answer whether the FBI is characterizing what happened as a terrorist attack but said she would “take the question under submission.”

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