Saturday, October 16, 2021

Ohio State Suspect Was Reportedly a Somali Refugee Student; Terrorism Not Ruled Out

Police respond to reports of an active shooter on campus at Ohio State University on Monday, Nov. 28, 2016, in Columbus, Ohio.
Police respond to reports of an active shooter on campus at Ohio State University on Monday, Nov. 28, 2016, in Columbus, Ohio.

*The man who wreaked havoc Monday morning at Ohio State University was reportedly a Somali refugee who attended the school.

In an incident initially reported as an “active shooter” situation, a man plowed a car into a campus crowd, then jumped out and began stabbing people with a butcher knife before being shot dead by police.

Law enforcement officials told NBC News the suspect’s name is Abdul Artan, an 18-year-old student who left Somalia with his family in 2007, lived in Pakistan and then came to the United States in 2014 as a legal permanent resident of the United States.

Further investigation revealed that Artan did not shoot anyone, however, nine people were taken to hospitals after the ambush, and one was in critical condition.

Artan’s motive was unknown, but officials said the attack was clearly deliberate and may have been planned in advance.

SITE Intelligence Group head analyst Rita Katz reports that the attack is consistent with recent Islamic State propaganda.

Columbus Ohio Police Chief Kim Jacobs told reporters Monday “We have to consider that it is” a terrorist attack.

While students waited to hear word on the attacker's movements, some piled chairs against a door to block him from getting in.
While students waited to hear word on the attacker’s movements, some piled chairs against a door to block him from getting in.

President Barack Obama was briefed on the attack, a White House spokesman said. The FBI was assisting in the investigation.

Hassan Omar, president of the Somali Community Association of Ohio, told NBC News that reports the attacker was Somali was upsetting.

“Every Somali person has been calling me, and everybody is crying,” he said.

“This is a shock,” he added. “As a Somali community here, we are in a state of shock. In Columbus, we live in a very peaceful community. This is gonna affect the life of everybody. We are American and we don’t want somebody to create this problem.”

A campus lockdown was lifted about 11:30 a.m., some 90 minutes after the violence unfolded on the Columbus, Ohio, campus, where 60,000 students are enrolled.

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