Investigators Believe Ohio State Attacker Was Inspired By ISIS Propaganda
Investigators believe that the man who attacked people on the campus of Ohio State University on Monday was inspired by ISIS propaganda and deceased Yemeni-American cleric Anwar al-Awlaki, law enforcement sources told Fox News.
Investigators believe that 18 year-old Abdul Razak Ali Artan was self-radicalized.
Sources look towards Artan’s Facebook posts before the attack on the campus of Ohio State University that injured eleven people. The posts make references to Awlaki, a former al-Qaeda leader in Yemen. Sources also say that the style of the attack was encouraged by ISIS in a recent online magazine.
On Tuesday, ISIS affiliated Amaq News agency said that Artan was a “soldier” of ISIS.
“Brother Abdul Razak Ali Artan, God accept him, implementer of the Ohio attack, a student in his third year in university,” the news agency wrote.
Investigators are speaking to his family and searching through his computer and cell phone to determine what caused him to carry out the attack. The FBI is investigating whether Artan was reading literature from two ISIS propaganda journals that called for attacks using vehicles and knives, a law enforcement source said.
“America! Stop interfering with other countries, especially the Muslim Ummah. We are not weak. We are not weak, remember that,” Artan wrote on Facebook, using the Arabic word for Muslim community.
“Every single Muslim who disapproves of my actions is a sleeper cell, waiting for a signal. I am warning you Oh America!” Artan also wrote on Facebook.
During the attack, Artan rammed his car into a crowd of people on the campus. He then got out of the vehicle and chased after people with a knife. Ohio State University police officer, Alan Horujko, who is being hailed a hero, ordered for Artan to stop but after disobeying orders, Horujko shot and killed Artan within minutes of the attack beginning.
Artan was born in Somalia and left the country in 2007 to move to Pakistan. After spending 7 years there, he moved to the United States in 2014 and became a legal permanent resident.
In August, Ohio State’s student newspaper, The Lantern, interviewed Artan, where he talked about having problems finding places to pray on campus.
“I was kind of scared with everything going on in the media. I’m a Muslim, it’s not what media portrays me to be,” he told the newspaper. “If people look at me, a Muslim praying, I don’t know what they’re going to think, what’s going to happen. But I don’t blame them. It’s the media that put that picture in their heads.”