Somali man injures nine people in terrorist attack at Ohio State University.
The Ohio State University student who plowed a car into a campus crowd, then jumped out and started stabbing people with a butcher knife before being shot dead by police Monday morning, has been identified as Abdul Razak Ali Artan by Fox News, NBC News, and other media outlets.
Reports indicate Artan came into the United States as a Somali refugee, and was granted status as a legal permanent resident.
The Columbus Dispatch reports the suspect has been identified as Abdul Razak Ali Artan, 28, who was a student at Ohio State. Other reports indicate Artan was 18. The Washington Post reports “Police said they believe Artan is 20 years old.”
According to reports, Artan identified himself as a Muslim, and discussed his faith with the university’s student newspaper, The Lantern, earlier this year. In the interview Artan criticized the school for not having Muslim prayer rooms on campus. Artan told the school newspaper:
I wanted to pray in the open, but I was kind of scared with everything going on in the media. I’m a Muslim, it’s not what the media portrays me to be. 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 so they’re just going to have it and it, it’s going to make them feel uncomfortable. I was kind of scared right now. But I just did it. I relied on God. I went over to the corner and just prayed.
Authorities believe they have found at least one posting from the attacker on Facebook, with one source saying information being collected indicates the attacker made what was described as a “declaration” on Facebook expressing some sort of grievances over attacks on Muslims.
About the attack, Ohio State Police Chief Craig Stone said Artan purposely drove over a curb and into pedestrians, noting:
This was done on purpose.
NBC reports nine people were taken to hospitals after the ambush, and one was in critical condition. The incident was initially reported as an “active shooter” situation, but the suspect did not shoot anyone.
Asked at a news conference whether it could have been a terrorist act, Police Chief Jacobs said:
I think we have to consider that it is.
Chief Jacobs added:
Obviously with the purposeful intent that was noticed – driving on the sidewalk – we’re going look at it from the potential that it was planned.
Authorities say they are treating the incident as a possible terrorist act. This is a developing story. Check back for updates.