At first, the double stabbing attack in a Roanoke County apartment building on Saturday evening appeared to be a random and bizarre attack. Two days later, the FBI has opened a terror probe after police reported that Wasil Farooqui repeatedly shouted one particular phrase during the attack. However, his status as a “known wolf” might have something to do with that, too:
The FBI is now involved in a stabbing investigation in Roanoke County.
Wasil Farooqui is charged in the incident that seriously hurt a man and woman at the The Pines Apartments on Saturday.
Witnesses told police that during the attack Farooqui was yelling “Allah Akbar.”
CBS News reports that this might not be as random as it seems. The FBI apparently already knew about Farooqui, thanks to an earlier attempt to travel to Syria:
A U.S. intelligence source tells CBS News Farooqui has been on the FBI’s radar for months and is believed to be self-radicalized.
That source says authorities aren’t sure whether Farooqui is an American citizen.
The source adds that Farooqui tried to go to Syria earlier this year but only got as far as Europe, then returned to the U.S., and the trip is what alerted law enforcement to him.
Buzzfeed’s Jim Dalrymple II writes that records show Farooqui is a US citizen, but that they don’t shed much other light on Farooqui’s state of mind.
The victims, thankfully, are expected to recover from their wounds, which might have been worse had the male victim not fought Farooqui off from the attack. He gave the police an accurate description of Farooqui, and police happened to see Farooqui come into the same hospital as the victims to deal with his own wounds (which typically occur in knife attacks). Farooqui doesn’t appear to be a master terrorist, but given the history presented in these reports, it seems clear that he aspired to be.
How many others have tried and failed to get into Syria to join the jihadists? How many others are on the FBI’s radar? It might be a better idea to prosecute those attempts and put these wannabe terrorists in prison immediately on their return, rather than trust in their incompetence when they decide to go active here at home.