ROANOKE COUNTY, Va. — The FBI is investigating a double stabbing here Saturday night as a possible terrorist attack, reports CBS News Investigative Unit Senior Producer Pat Milton, citing law enforcement sources.
One told Milton the suspect yelled “Allah Akbar” — Arabic for God is Great — during the stabbing. Witnesses told police they heard the same thing, reports CBS Roanoke affiliate WDBJ-TV.
Police said Wasil Farooqui, 20, of Roanoke County, stabbed a man and woman in a random attack that left the victims severely wounded and hospitalized. He’s charged with two counts of aggravated malicious wounding and is being held without bond.
A law enforcement source said the FBI is investigating whether the knife attack was possibly inspired by ISIS and whether the suspect may have been trying to behead his victims.
The source said the stabbing victims are believed to have been picked at random.
The victims told police they were attacked as they entered The Pines Apartments just before 8 p.m.
The male was able to fight off the attacker, who fled the scene, police said.
While officers were at the hospital with the victims, a male, subsequently identified as Farooqui, came into the emergency room with injuries of his own, authorities said. He met the description of the suspect in the stabbing, and further investigation by police led to his arrest, they said.
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.