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Terrorism a Possible Motive in Ohio State Attack

By Dan Gagnon; For The Clock
On December 2, 2016

Terrorism a Possible Motive in Ohio State Attack 

 Dan Gannon

For The Clock 

Eleven students were hospitalized and a suspect has been killed by an Ohio State University police officer following a knife attack on the Columbus University Campus. The FBI is investigating whether or not terrorism was likely a motive for the attack on Monday.

The attack began shortly after 9:52 a.m. just outside Watts Hall, and a fire alarm had sent students to gather outside. That’s when a vehicle jumped the curb striking multiple students. At first, many thought that it was just an accident, until a man emerged with a large knife and began slashing students.

Student Jacob Bower witnessed the attack. "He pulled a large knife and started chasing people around, trying to attack them," Bower told CNN, mentioning that he did not see any of his peers get stabbed. “Luckily there were so many people, he couldn't focus on one target," he said later on.

The rampage only lasted two minutes as Officer Horujko with the Ohio State University Police shot and killed the attacker who failed to obey commands to drop the knife. In total, eleven people suffered injuries ranging from critical to non-life threatening.

The suspect, identified as 20–year-old Abdul Razak Ali Artan, was a Somali immigrant who was studying business at the school. Records show that he and his family left Somalia in 2007, and lived in Pakistan briefly until 2014 before coming to the United States. He became a permanent U.S. Citizen in 2014.

Artan complained on Facebook that there was nowhere for Muslim students to openly pray on campus. He also threatened America "to stop interfering with other countries, especially the Muslim Ummah," a term for Muslim people at large.

His Facebook posts took a more sinister turn as he wrote, "By Allah, we will not let you sleep unless you give peace to the Muslims. You will not celebrate or enjoy any holiday." The FBI is investigating whether or not Artan had been in contact with ISIS militants overseas, who have urged their so-called “soldiers” in other countries to use cars as weapons as well as knives. There is also a possibility that Artan might have been self-radicalized as Federal Agents comb his computer history to see if he had been watching any Jihadist propaganda.

As of right now, the motive for the attack is unclear. The University’s President, Dr. Michael V. Drake, in a statement urged students to not make any conclusions until all the facts are present. He also mentioned that this is an isolated incident and not to target the nearby Somali population.

In a statement Drake said to the press, "We all know when things like this happen that there's a tendency sometimes for people to put people together and create other kinds of theories. We don't know anything that would link this to any community. We certainly don't have any evidence that would say that's the case.”

Drake also called for unity, saying, "What we want to do is really unify together and support each other; do our best to support those who were injured in their recovery, and then allow the investigation to take place. As of right now the investigation is still open and no credible motivation has been found for this act of violence.” 

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