The terrorist who carried out a vehicle ram-and-stab attacked on the Columbus campus of Ohio State University on Monday was an 18-year-old Somali immigrant who was student at the school, according to a report by NBC News, quoting law enforcement officials.
Abdul Razaq Ali Artan was a legal permanent resident from Somalia who came to the United States in 2014 from Pakistan after having left his homeland with his family in 2007.
He carried out the attack — plowing his car into a group of people who had evacuated the Watts Hall building on campus in response to a caller who had reported a “gas leak” — then got out and started slashing at the stunned crowd with a large butcher knife, officials said.
Ten people were injured and sent to the hospital, including one who was at first reported in critical condition but who has since stabilized.
OSU Police Officer Alan Horujko arrived within “a minute” and yelled a warning for the attacker to “Drop the knife and get down!” But when he failed to immediately comply, he waited no longer, took careful aim and fired, Ohio State Police Chief Craig Stone said. It took three bullets to take the terrorist down, according to one student who told CNN the officer who shot Artan “waited ’til everyone was clear, and the stabber clearly wasn’t stopping.”
Law enforcement officials said Artan posted a rant on social media prior to the attack, but officials are being cautious about releasing information on any motive for his attack.
Artan had allegedly mentioned radical Islamist cleric Anwar Awlaki often on his Facebook page. The rant he posted prior to his attack read:
“I am sick and tired of seeing my fellow Muslim brothers and sisters being killed and tortured EVERYWHERE. … I can’t take it anymore. America! Stop interfering with other countries…if you want us Muslims to stop carrying lone wolf attacks.”
Artan attended Columbus State Community College from the time he entered the United States in 2014, at age 16, graduating cum laude with an Associates Degree.
According to NBC News, Artan told the Ohio State University campus newspaper, The Lantern that on his first day at the university he was “scared” about praying as a Muslim on campus. “If people look at me, a Muslim praying, I don’t know what they’re going to think, what’s going to happen.”
By that time, however, he had already spent two years in the state college/university system in Ohio, and presumably had prayed “in public” on that campus as well.