Trump: Somali Behind Ohio Attack 'Should Not Have Been in Our Country'

The alleged ISIS-inspired assailant, Abdul Razak Ali Artan, was reportedly a permanent legal resident of the United States.

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

Reacting on Twitter on Wednesday to Monday's car-ramming and stabbing attack by a Somali-born student at Ohio State University in Columbus, Ohio, President-elect Donald Trump called the assailant "a Somali refugee who should not have been in our country." Trump also noted that "ISIS is taking credit" for the attack.

The assailant, Abdul Razak Ali Artan, was reportedly a legal and permanent resident of the United States and had moved to Ohio from Pakistan in 2014. ISIS, the Islamic State militant group, claimed responsibility on Tuesday for the attack, but a federal official who asked not to be identified said investigators have seen no evidence so far that the militant group's role was anything more than inspirational.

In August, during the presidential election campaign, Trump said he supports “extreme vetting” of Muslims entering the United States as a national security measure, a proposal he later reworded as a call for a limit on immigration from "terror-prone regions".

Tweet by Trump in reaction to attack on Ohio State campus
Twitter

Artan allegedly deliberately rammed his car into a group of students and then got out of his car with a knife and attempted to stab people in the area before being shot to death by a police officer. Eleven people were hospitalized over the incident.

Prior to the attack, Artan expressed anger at the United States in a Facebook post over American killings of Muslims overseas. "By Allah, we will not let you sleep unless you give peace to the Muslims. You will not celebrate or enjoy any holiday," he wrote.

The Somali immigrant also made specific reference to the killing of Muslims in Burma, the southeast Asian country also known as Myanmar. Violence in Myanmar has sent Muslims fleeing across the border to Bangladesh amid allegations of abuses by security forces.

Artan's post did not mention Islamic State, but it praised Anwar al-Awlaki, a U.S.-born radical cleric linked to a different extremist Islamic group, Al-Qaida, who was killed by a U.S. drone strike in 2011.

Columbus is home to one of the largest Somali communities in the United States. Members of Columbus' Somali community have denounced the attack by Artan.