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ISIS in Ohio (Part One): The Terror Attack at Ohio State University

Ohio State students returning from their Thanksgiving break last November had their first day back on campus shattered by one of their fellow students, Abdul Razak Ali Artan. He drove his brother's grey Honda Civic into a crowd gathered outside Watts Hall on campus, injuring a number of them. He then emerged from the wrecked vehicle with an eight-inch knife and began attacking bystanders, some of whom were already tending to the injured.

The Islamic State would hail Artan the very next day, calling him a "soldier" and praising him for responding to their call for Muslims living in the West to conduct terror attacks in its name.

Artan, however, isn't the only Islamic State "soldier" from Ohio to answer the terror group's call.

In fact, a growing number of ISIS supporters and operatives have emerged from the Buckeye State over the past two years. The ISIS-inspired terror attack at Ohio State on November 28, 2016, should have been a wake-up call to the escalating problem in the state, but that doesn't appear to be the case. Rather, the terror incident is yet another example of how the problem has been buried while the threat has metastasized.

Buckeye Battle Cry: "Run, Hide, Fight"

The pageantry of a football game at Ohio Stadium is among the top spectacles in American college athletics, with 100,000-plus fans (usually) cheering their team on to victory. The bells ringing after a score. The "Skull Session" with the football team and the marching band prior to the game. And the band's entry into the stadium at the beginning of the game, leading the crowd with Ohio State's fight song, "Buckeye Battle Cry."

But after Abdul Razak Artan's terror attack last year, Ohio State has a new fight song, as do hundreds of other college campuses: "Run, Hide, Fight."

Artan's victims didn't have much time to run and hide when his car jumped the curb and rammed into a crowd of students. Eleven people were injured, most by the car-ramming; two were slashed by Artan with his knife. One victim had a fractured skull. Artan was shot and killed by a campus police officer two minutes after the attack began.

It was the first semester for the Logistics Management third-year student at Ohio State's Fisher College of Business, having graduated cum laude in May 2016 with an associate's degree from Columbus State Community College.

On his first day on campus, Artan was interviewed by the Ohio State student newspaper, The Lantern. He whined to the reporter about the absence of places for Muslims to pray on campus (there is a dedicated room at the student union) and about misconceptions other students might have about him and Islam if he prayed in public. The reporter later related how quickly Artan was able to recite from memory the laundry list of Islamic grievances, and his perception that Muslims were under siege in America from pervasive Islamophobia.