News & Politics

ISIS Claims Responsibility for Ohio State Attack

Columbus City Council president Zach Klein, center left, speaks alongside Muslim faith leaders at the Ibnu Taymaya Masjid & Islamic Center during a news conference, Tuesday, Nov. 29, 2016, in Columbus, Ohio, following an attack at The Ohio State University campus the previous day. Investigators are looking into whether a car-and-knife attack at Ohio State University that injured several people was an act of terror by a student who had once criticized the media for its portrayal of Muslims. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)

The Islamic State is claiming credit for an attack at The Ohio State University that injured 11 and left the attacker dead. The terror group said that attacker, Abdul Razak Ali Artan, was inspired by the ISIS jihadist message.

“The executor of the attack in the American state of Ohio is a soldier of the Islamic State and he carried out the operation in response to calls to target citizens of international coalition countries,” a claim issued by the Amaq News Agency said.

Law enforcement continues to look for a motive. “Although law-enforcement officials said they don’t yet have a motive for the attack that injured 11 people, they are investigating a Facebook post that Artan is believed to have written beforehand. In it, the OSU third-year student criticized the United States for interfering in other countries and, ‘If you want us Muslims to stop carrying out lone wolf attacks, then make peace.'”

The attacker went on to write, “Every single Muslim who disapproves of my actions is a sleeper cell, waiting for a signal. I am warning you Oh America.”

Artan drove a car into faculty and students standing in a courtyard after a fire alarm was pulled to signal a gas leak. Artan is reported to have gotten out of his car and stabbed bystanders with a butcher knife. Police have not said who pulled the fire alarm that led to the evacuation of the building.  They also will not say if Artan had any help or accomplices.

“Investigators will be looking into all of that,” Columbus police spokesman Rich Weiner said. “We are looking into every aspect — how did he get there? Did anyone assist him?”

Horsed Noah, director of the Abubakar Asiddiq Islamic Center, said he did not recognize Artan, although Artan was said to have attended the mosque.

The community is concerned about a backlash against Muslims. Jibril Mohamed, a lecturer in Somali language and culture at Ohio State, said, “We have not had any serious incidents up until now, so this is frightening. Many of the young Somali people on campus are really scared.”

Prior to attending Ohio State, Artan received an associates degree at Columbus State University.