Anti-U.S. Facebook rant may be linked to Ohio stabber

Authorities believe Ohio State University attacker may have posted an anti-U.S. rant posted on Facebook moments before the attack.

Ben Ariel ,

Facebook (illustration)
Facebook (illustration)
Thinkstock

Authorities are investigating an anti-U.S. rant posted on Facebook just minutes before Monday’s attack at the Ohio State University that is believed to be linked to the suspect in the attack, Abdul Razak Ali Artan, ABC News reports.

Appearing three minutes before the beginning of the rampage that left 11 people injured, the post reads, according to the report, “I can’t take it anymore. America! Stop interfering with other countries, especially the Muslim Ummah. We are not weak. We are not weak, remember that.”

The post also invokes the name of Anwar Al-Awlaki, a radical American-born Al-Qaeda cleric, describing him as a “hero."

Al-Awlaki was killed in 2011 but his propaganda has been linked to several domestic terrorist attacks in the years after his death.

“If you want us Muslims to stop carrying lone wolf attacks, then make peace,” the post reads, according to ABC News. “We will not let you sleep unless you give peace to the Muslims.”

The post, which was on a page that appears to have since been disabled, takes the form of a photo of a computer screen displaying a text document.

Authorities identified Artan as the attacker in a press conference earlier on Monday, but said they have not determined a motive and the investigation is ongoing.

Sources told ABC News that he is of Somali descent and is a legal permanent resident in the United States.

Artan, who reportedly was a student at the university, left his homeland with his family in 2007, lived in Pakistan and then came to the United States in 2014.

In Monday’s attack, he plowed a car into a campus crowd, then jumped out and stabbed people with a butcher knife before being shot dead by police.

The attack comes as the Islamic State (ISIS) terror group has been urging its followers in recent weeks to copy the vehicle attack that took place in Nice, France, when 85 people were killed by a terrorist driving a semi-truck through a Bastille Day celebration.

It also comes two days after the terror group published a video instructing its followers on how to use a knife to attack non-believers. ISIS is not mentioned in the Facebook post, however, according to ABC News.

Just three months ago, an OSU student named Abdul Razak Artan was quoted in the college newspaper, The Lantern, as he discussed his troubles finding a place to pray on his new campus, the report said.

"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," he is quoted in the paper as saying. "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."

Asked about Artan, the vice president of marketing and communications at Columbus State told ABC News in a statement, "Abdul Razak Ali Artan was enrolled at Columbus State Community College from autumn semester 2014 through summer semester 2016. He graduated with an associate of arts degree in spring of 2016 and then continued taking additional noncredit classes through summer semester 2016."

If the attack is indeed a jihadist-inspired terrorist attack, it would not be the first such attack in the United States in recent years.

Just a year ago, in December of 2015, Syed Farook and Tashfeen Malik carried out a massacre in San Bernardino, California, killing 14 people and injuring 22 others.

The FBI later said that Farook and Malik were both radicalized "for quite some time". It is believed Farook had contact with people from at least two terrorist organizations overseas, and investigators have also said Malik had pledged allegiance to ISIS in a Facebook posting.

In another incident, Faisal Mohammad, a California college student who stabbed four people late last year was reported to have been carrying an image of the black flag of ISIS as well as a handwritten manifesto with instructions to behead a student and multiple reminders to pray to Allah.




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