Merced Attack Not Seen as Terrorism

November 6, 2015

As word spread that the student shot and killed Wednesday at the University of California at Merced, after he stabbed four there, was named Faisal Mohammad, rumors followed, saying that the incident was a terrorist attack. But the Merced County Sheriff's Office issued a statement Thursday saying there was no evidence to back that claim, although there was evidence that Mohammad intended to hurt many people.

"Evidence collected included Faisal Mohammad’s backpack, which contained flex cuffs, zip ties, duct tape, a safety hammer and two clear plastic bags containing petroleum jelly and a night vision binocular, in addition to a handwritten note in his dorm room," said the statement. "All these items suggest Mohammad had intentions beyond that of the initial confrontation of causing utter destruction to lives. However, analysis of Mohammad’s personal effects by FBI officials indicate that the motive, while unknown, does not appear to include a religious, political or terrorism component. Investigators believe that Mohammad’s actions were strictly a criminal act whose motives may never be entirely clear or understood."

The Los Angeles Times reported that, at a press conference, law enforcement officials said Mohammad was angry about being kicked out of a study group. The petroleum jelly, they said, was part of a plan to make it difficult for students he wanted to attack -- by making the floor slippery -- to leave the classroom where he planned to attack them.

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