Officials Investigating Motive For Attack At Ohio State
18-year-old Abdul Razak Ali Artan has been identified as the attacker in yesterday’s ambush at Ohio State University. Investigators are looking at what appears to be Artan’s Facebook page where a rant was posted just before he jumped a curb plowing a car into a crowd on campus before stabbing several others with a butcher knife, ultimately sending 11 people to the hospital.
Reports of human rights abuses in Myanmar pushed him to a “boiling point.” The United States, which suspended its last sanctions against the former military dictatorship this year, said it had expressed concerns about the treatment of Myanmar’s Rohingya Muslims. “I can’t take it anymore,” he said in the post.
Saying he was “sick and tired” of seeing fellow Muslims “killed and tortured,” he made a plea that the US stay out of foreign affairs according to CNN reports.
“America! Stop interfering with other countries, especially Muslim Ummah [community]. We are not weak. We are not weak, remember that,” the post said. “By Allah, we will not let you sleep unless you give peace to the Muslims. You will not celebrate or enjoy any holiday.”
Two hours before that, a cryptic post on the page said: “Forgive and forget. Love.”
Officials say they have not determined a motive for Artan’s attack and are still looking to find out if he may have had personal problems or something else that may have pushed him over the edge.
In a news conference Monday, Ohio State President Dr. Michael V. Drake cautioned against jumping to conclusions when asked if the incident was terror-related or had anything to do with Ohio’s Somali community, the second-largest in the country.
“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 said.
“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.”
Thank God there are some people who have the presence of mind to not generalize, jump to conclusions or just immediately name this a terror attack. Ironically, Artan expressed fears about praying openly when he was profiled in the school’s student-run newspaper’s “Humans of Ohio State” series in August. He had just transferred from Columbus State and said he was struggling to find a place to pray in peace on the large campus.
“I wanted to pray in the open, but I was 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.
Legit fears right?
Artan was born in Somalia, but he and his family left the country in 2007 and lived as refugees in Pakistan before seven members of the family applied for refugee status in the United States and were admitted in 2014. All seven became legal permanent residents and green card holders.
Ohio State Police Officer Alan Horujko shot Artan after he failed to obey orders to stop.
The entire attack happened in under two minutes.
Crazy… It’s wild because people are bound to feel passionate about situations that personally affect them. Violence is never the answer.
Photo Courtesy Kevin Stankiewicz / The Lantern