As authorities worked to establish a motive for the 18-year-old college freshman who stabbed four people on a California campus Wednesday, more disturbing details emerged about the attacker.
Faisal Mohammad, who was killed by University of California Merced police, was described by at least one witness as smiling as he slashed at victims, called a loner by a fellow dorm resident and drew praise Thursday from a Twitter account associated with ISIS, which just last week released a series of videos calling for lone wolf stabbing attacks.
“May Allah accept him,” read a tweet in Arabic from a Twitter account that terrorism experts say has carried previous ISIS propaganda, just minutes after Mohammad’s name was divulged by campus authorities.
Disturbing indeed, especially given the spate of stabbing attacks in Israel, an emerging signature move of individual jihadists. There’s much we still don’t know. It’s certainly possible that Mohammad had other motives for his attack, and that ISIS was merely being opportunistic — seizing on the attacker’s Muslim name to create the false appearance of jihadist influence. However, I don’t necessarily trust either the Barack “workplace violence” Obama administration or painfully politically-correct California authorities to be entirely forthcoming with evidence.
Regardless of motive, it does appear that one man — a construction worker named Byron Price — intervened and saved at least one life:
At this point investigators believe “Mohammad entered a second-floor classroom as class was starting Wednesday and struggled with a male student, who was stabbed. The construction worker–31-year-old Byron Price–“heard the commotion and went to intervene.” Warnke stressed that apart from Price’s intervention, the first stabbing victim might be dead.
Mohammad turned his attention to Price, “[slashing] him around the waist during the confrontation.” Mohammad is believed to have fled the building thereafter, stabbing another male student and a female student advisor outside.
It’s worth following this story carefully, and I hope Mohammad’s motive was grounded in his own unique problems and not jihad. If Israel’s recent experience teaches us anything, it’s that jihadist stabbers can be deadly, terrifying, and hard to stop.