Ohio State University Student Attacker Latest Update: Somali Native Might Have Been Inspired By Islamic State Or Al-Qaeda

By Claire Parker, Parent Herald November 30, 11:00 pm
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Abdul Razak Ali Artan in an undated photo. He injured 11 people in Ohio State University.
(Photo : ABC News/YouTube)

The teenager who injured a total of 11 people this week at the Ohio State University after he crashed his car at a crowd then got out of the vehicle and started slashing at others using a butcher's knife might have been inspired by terror groups like the Islamic State (IS) or the al-Qaeda. The teenager was shot and killed by a responding police officer.

The New York Times reported that the teenager, Abdul Razak Ali Artan, might have been influenced by an al-Qaeda recruiter named Anwar al-Awlaki or the IS because of the social media posts he made leading to the day of the attack. He reportedly bought a knife before the attack at a Walmart store but it was not stated if it was the weapon he used in slashing at his victims.

Authorities are still combing through his social media accounts, electronic devices, other materials and other people who might give information about what he did, where he was and if he talked to anyone about the attack before performing it. Angela L. Byers, the special agent in charge of the FBI branch in Cincinnati, said that they have interviewed his family members, co-workers, neighbors and other people. 

Byers added that it was too early in the investigation to conclude that Artan's attack was due to terrorism. However, tThe IS took to their official news agency on Tuesday to say that Artan was their soldier. However, Byers pointed out that the claim will no longer be proven since Artan is deceased.

Students who knew Artan said that they are not sure what triggered the attack as he was a diligent student and yearned to be part of the Ohio State University. He transferred to the university just this fall.

Artan arrived in the United States in 2014 with his family. He and his family lived in downtown Columbus. He was from Columbus State before he transferred to Ohio State University.

Meanwhile, more on the Facebook posts of Artan seemingly talking about the Muslim people carrying out lone attacks in the United States. Time reported that in one post, he wrote that if they want such attacks to stop, the Americans should make peace.

President-elect Donald Trump weighed in on the attack saying that a Somali refugee should not have been in the United States. He also cited the IS taking responsibility for the acts of Artan. But as of writing, the investigation is still ongoing.

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