ISIS Claims Responsibility for Ohio State University Attack

On Monday, a Somali-born student plowed his car into a group of pedestrians in Ohio and began stabbing people with a butcher knife in attack claimed by ISIS.

Somali-born student Abdul Razak Ali Artan suspected of Ohio State University attack.
Somali-born student Abdul Razak Ali Artan suspected of Ohio State University attack. Kevin Stankiewicz/TheLantern.com/AP

ISIS claimed responsibility Tuesday for an attack at Ohio State University, saying the student who injured 11 people in a car and knife attack was a member of the extremist group.

The attacker, who plowed into pedestrians at Ohio State University and stabbed others with a butcher knife, "is a soldier" of ISIS, the group said on its news agency, AMAQ, on Tuesday, claiming the attack as its own.

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A car which police say was used by an attacker to plow into a group of students is seen outside Watts Hall on Ohio State University's campus in Columbus, Ohio, U.S. November 28, 2016.
Reuters

He was responding to calls to target citizens of the international coalition against the jihadist group, ISIS said in a bulletin published on the Telegram messaging app.

The claim, via the Aamaq media outlet and citing an unnamed "security source," is typical of how Islamic State has claimed previous attacks outside the territories it controls in the Middle East.

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On Monday, Somali-born student Abdul Razak Ali Artan plowed his car into a group of pedestrians and began stabbing people before he was shot to death by a police officer.

Before carrying out the attack, Artan railed on Facebook against U.S. interference in Muslim lands and warned, "If you want us Muslims to stop carrying lone wolf attacks, then make peace" with ISIS, a law enforcement official said.

"America! Stop interfering with other countries, especially the Muslim Ummah. We are not weak. We are not weak, remember that," he wrote, using the Arabic term for the world's Muslim community.

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The posts were recounted by a law enforcement official who was briefed on the investigation but wasn't authorized to discuss it publicly and spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity.

"Every single Muslim who disapproves of my actions is a sleeper cell, waiting for a signal. I am warning you Oh America!" Artan also said.

Dozens of FBI agents began searching Artan's apartment for clues to what set off the rampage.

Artan drove a car up onto a sidewalk and plowed into a group of pedestrians shortly before 10 A.M. He then got out and began stabbing people with a butcher knife before he was shot to death by a campus police officer.

Most of the victims were hurt by the car, and two had been stabbed, officials said. One had a fractured skull. Four remained hospitalized Tuesday.

Police stand guard outside a residence of interest during their investigation into an earlier attack at the Ohio State University campus, Monday, Nov. 28, 2016, in Columbus, Ohio.
John Minchillo, AP

Artan was born in Somalia and was a legal permanent U.S. resident, according to a U.S. official who was not authorized to discuss the case and spoke on condition of anonymity.

A law enforcement official said Artan came to the United States in 2014 as the child of a refugee. He had been living in Pakistan from 2007 to 2014. It is not uncommon for refugees to go to a third-party country before being permanently resettled.

Upon arriving in the U.S., Artan was referred for a secondary Customs and Border Protection inspection, but nothing abnormal was found, according to a U.S. official who was briefed on the investigation but was not authorized to discuss it and spoke on condition of anonymity. A secondary inspection is often routine and based on someone's travel history and length of stay in certain countries.

Artan started college that fall and graduated with honors from Columbus State Community College last May, earning an associate of arts degree. A video of his graduation ceremony shows him jumping and spinning on stage and smiling broadly, drawing laughs, cheers and smiles from graduates and faculty members.

Artan was not known to the FBI before Monday's attack, according to a law enforcement official who was not authorized to discuss the investigation and spoke on condition of anonymity.