A man shouting “Allahu akbar” repeatedly stabbed and seriously injured a man and woman in Virginia after hearing voices telling him to attack someone, authorities said.
Wasil Farooqui attacked the pair with a knife as they entered an apartment building Saturday evening in Roanoke County, county police said in a statement. According to witnesses, police said, Farooqui was yelling “Allahu akbar,” the Arabic phrase for “God is great.”
The male victim was able to fight off Farooqui, who fled the scene, police said. Farooqui later arrived at the hospital to seek care for his own injuries and was arrested, they said.
Farooqui, 20, of Roanoke County, is charged with two counts of aggravated malicious wounding and was being held without bond at the Western Virginia Regional Jail. Online court records did not list an attorney.
Farooqui told a detective that he had left his house to clear his head and brought with him a butcher knife from the kitchen, according to a search warrant obtained by WSET-TV. Farooqui said he was hearing voices “telling him that he was stupid” and to attack someone, the detective said. Farooqui said he then saw the man and woman leaving a pool at the building and stabbed them many times, according to the document.
Farooqui said he doesn’t know the people he attacked or why he attacked them, the search warrant said.
Federal officials are investigating alongside police.
“While I cannot discuss the 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,” Adam Lee, special agent in charge of the FBI’s Richmond Division, said in a statement.
Police say they believe the attack was random and that Farooqui had no connection to the victims. They have not released the victims’ names.