A man in Roanoke County allegedly shouted “Allahu Akbar” while attacking a man and woman with a knife Saturday in an incident that is being investigated by the FBI.
Roanoke County police said the attack occurred Saturday evening at the Pines Apartments as a man and woman were entering an apartment building. Witnesses heard their attacker yelling “Allahu Akbar,” police said Monday night.
While one official described the attack as a possible attempted beheading because of one victim’s neck wound, county police disputed that characterization.
“The male victim suffered multiple lacerations all over his body, including his neck, but the attack did not appear to be an attempt at a beheading,” said police spokeswoman Amy Whittaker.
The man fought off the attacker, who fled the scene, police said.
Officers arrested a suspect, Wasil Farooqui, 20, of Roanoke County, when he came into the same emergency room where the two victims were being treated.
Farooqui has been charged with two counts of aggravated malicious wounding and is being held without bond at the Western Virginia Regional Jail.
Police said that the attack was believed to be random and that the suspect had no connection to the victims.
In a statement provided by local police, Adam Lee, special agent in charge of the FBI’s Richmond Field Office, said that the agency is involved.
“While I cannot discuss 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,” he said.
Matt Zapotosky contributed to this report.