The Islamic State has released a statement about Somali refugee Abdul Razak Ali Artan, who was killed after carrying out a terrorist attack on the Ohio State University campus in Columbus. The one-paragraph statement about the attack was released by ISIS to its subscribers on Telegram, an encrypted messaging app.
The Arabic text calls Artan a “soldier of the Islamic State.” However, this does not mean ISIS had any involvement in coordinating the attack.
On the day of the attack, members on ISIS telegram channels started to call Artan a “brother.”
Artan drove a car into a group of people, which fits tactics distributed by ISIS to its supporters. On the day of the attack, 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 Artan was working alone and that no gun was found on his body or in the crime scene.
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.
WBNS reports that nine people were injured.
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.
This past weekend, ISIS released a video encouraging knife attacks on non-Muslims in the West.
At least one planned ISIS-style attack has been thwarted recently by authorities in Ohio. Last week, 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.