11/30/16: ISIS has stated that Somali refugee Abdul Razak Ali Artan is a soldier of the Islamic State. Read their statement here. Original story below.
Following confirmed reports of an attack on the Ohio State University campus, online chatter has people wondering if the Somali suspect Abdul Razak Ali Artan was inspired by the Islamic State. The use of a car to drive over people suggests this.
Witnesses have said on Twitter a fire alarm was pulled to get people out of buildings and that Artan drove a car into a group of people, which fits tactics distributed by ISIS to its supporters.
Law enforcement sources told NBC News that Artan, who was killed at the scene, was an 18-year-old Ohio State student. The sources told NBC he is a Somali refugee and a legal permanent resident of the United States.
Nearly all people in Somalia are Sunni Muslims. ISIS is a Sunni Islamist extremist group.
There is communication about the school attack on known ISIS terrorist channels. If ISIS is the inspiration for the attack, an official claim could be expected in as little as a day.
Earlier this morning, an active shooter was reported on the north part of the OSU campus in Columbus, Ohio. Police tweeted just before 10 a.m., “active shooter on campus. Run Hide Fight. Watts Hall. 19th and College.” The Columbus Dispatch reported that one person in the car had a gun while the other had a “large knife.”
However, it was later revealed that no gun was found on the body of Artan or in the crime scene.
WBNS reports that nine people were injured. The station says that of those nine, eight are in stable condition while one is in critical condition. NBC Columbus’ Ted Hart reports that a person attacked with a large knife is a professor at the school.
NBC Columbus reporter Matt Barnes tweeted that two people have been “escorted out of garage in handcuffs and put into SWAT vehicle.” However, later reports state that Artan worked alone.
Earlier this month, an ISIS magazine article targeting the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade suggested to jihadists how to carry out a successful attack as a lone wolf operative. In the article, ISIS suggested that a lone wolf use a vehicle to plow into a crowd and to carry a secondary weapon.
A similar attack claimed by ISIS was carried out this year on July 14 at a Bastille Day celebration in Nice, France by Mohamed Lahouaiej Bouhlel. Bouhlel is responsible for murdering up to 84 people by ramming into them with a truck and shooting at them.
At least one planned ISIS-style attack has been thwarted recently by authorities in Ohio. 5 days ago the Washington Post reported that Munir Abdulkader, 22, an Ohio college student, “pleaded guilty to plotting an Islamic State-guided attack on a US military employee and a police station.” The attack was intended to be carried out in Cincinnati. He was sentenced to 20 years in prison.
The FBI also recently arrested a New York man, Mohamed Rafik Naji, who had tried to join ISIS overseas and is accused of talking to an informant about possibly attacking Times Square using a vehicle.
Last year at this time, the world was still recovering from the November 13 ISIS terrorist attack in Paris when Syed Farook and his wife, Tashfeen Malik, carried out a deadly assault on the Inland Regional Center in San Bernardino, California.
Read more about the Ohio State University shooting in Spanish at AhoraMismo.com: