Homeland Security

Family of Ohio State Terror Jihadist 'Mystified' Over What Drove Him to Attack

Police cover the body of a suspect outside Watts Hall on the campus of Ohio State University in Columbus, Ohio, following an attack on campus that left several people injured on Monday, Nov. 28, 2016. The man, identified as Abdul Razak Ali Artan, plowed his car into a group of pedestrians and began stabbing people with a butcher knife Monday before he was shot to death by a police officer. (Adam Cairns/The Columbus Dispatch via AP)

On November 28 last year, Abdul Razak Artan — a student at Ohio State — launched a terror attack on campus by attempting to run over fellow students and to stab others. He was shot and killed by campus police. Artan was hailed by the Islamic State as one of their “soldiers.”

But an attorney for the family says they are “mystified” about what drove him to commit this terror attack.

Information from the investigators’ case file shows a note written to his family pledging allegiance to the Islamic State and chastising them for being “moderate Muslims”:

The Associated Press reports:

A man responsible for a car-and-knife attack at Ohio State University last year left behind a torn-up note in which he urged his family to stop being “moderate” Muslims and said he was upset by fellow Muslims being oppressed in Myanmar, The Associated Press has learned.

Abdul Razak Ali Artan also told his parents in the note, reassembled by investigators, that he “will intercede for you in the day of Judgment,” according to the investigative case file of the attack obtained through an open records request.

“My family stop being moderate muslims,” says the handwritten note transcribed by investigators and found by Artan’s bed in his family’s apartment.

Artan also wrote: “In the end, I would like to say that I pledge my allegiance to ‘dawla,’” an Arabic word that means state or country and a likely reference to the Islamic State group. “May Allah bless them.”

He concludes by saying he’s leaving his property to his beloved “but yet ‘moderate mother.’”

Artan’s family was baffled by that note, which caused them a great deal of anguish, said Bob Fitrakis, a Columbus attorney representing the family. To this day, the family has no idea why Artan took those actions, he said Thursday.

“The family is mystified by what happened. They’re absolutely clueless,” Fitrakis said.

It should be noted that on the day of the attack, a Facebook post on an account attributed to Artan said he was “willing to kill a billion infidels”:

Days after the incident, ISIS claimed responsibility for the attack:


Subsequent reports give some further indication to his motive:

The “mystified by the motive” game following a terror attack has proven to be a favorite pastime of the media and the FBI. After the Pulse nightclub attack in Orlando last year — where 49 victims were killed — the New York Times had trouble discerning Omar Mateen’s motive:

Remarkably, Mateen called a local news station during the attack to pledge allegiance to the Islamic State and say exactly what his motive was.

But for the New York Times, the elusive search for his true motive continues.

As I reported here at PJ Media back in February, the FBI said they were still puzzling over the motive of St. Cloud mall stabber Dahir Adan months after his attack:

I noted some potential investigative clues:

Not to mention that the Islamic State claimed the attack as well.

I suspect many understand the reticence of law enforcement officials to be too hasty while investigating these cases. And the media obsesses over whether the facts related to these terror attacks stigmatizes the Muslim community. But the “mystified by the motive” game, whether by the suspect’s family, the media, or the FBI, when confirmed facts regarding motive are already public knowledge, damages the credibility of investigators and the media.

I reported here yesterday that attacks in the West have increased dramatically over the past decade:

And I’ve reported on the dozens of “Known Wolf” terror cases, where the suspect was already known to law enforcement before the attack.

Being “mystified by the motive” in cases claimed by the Islamic State doesn’t seem to be fooling anyone, and may actually be adding to the stigmatizing of the Muslim community. As citizens in Western countries are now being killed on a regular basis, the people are entitled to honest and accurate reporting.

No one is really mystified anymore.