Multiple reports have suggested Abdul Razak Ali Artan, the 18-year-old whom the police fatally shot after he attacked students and faculty members at Ohio State University on Monday, may have posted a rant to Facebook just before the rampage.
Fox News first reported that law-enforcement officials were investigating a post they believe Artan wrote that described being "sick and tired of seeing my fellow Muslim brothers and sisters being killed and tortured EVERYWHERE" (emphasis the author's).
Related: Images from the scene at Ohio State University
Artan was a legal permanent resident who came to the US with his parents in 2014. The family had lived in Pakistan for several years after fleeing Somalia in 2007, according to CNN.
"America! Stop interfering with other countries, especially the Muslim Ummah," the Facebook post said, according to a screenshot from NBC News, using the Arabic word for "community." "If you want us Muslims to stop carrying out lone wolf attacks, then make peace with 'dawla in al sham.' Make a pact or a treaty with them where you promise to leave them alone."
— Nick Short 🇺🇸 (@PoliticalShort) November 29, 2016
Hours later, Artan carried out what the police believe was a so-called lone-wolf attack — crashing a car into pedestrians on the campus sidewalk before attacking them with a butcher knife. Eleven people were hurt in the attack, the Columbus Dispatch reported, but they are expected to recover.
Officer Alan Horujko of the Ohio State campus police reportedly shot Artan dead just one minute after the attack began. Chief Craig Stone of the Ohio State University Police Division said Monday afternoon he was "confident" that Artan was the only attacker.
ISIS, the terrorist group also known as the Islamic State, ISIL, or Daesh, has been urging its followers to copy the Bastille Day attack in France, in which a man drove a large truck through a crowd of people, killing 84. The terrorist group also recently posted a video explaining how to conduct a knife attack, ABC News reported.
ISIS was not mentioned in the Facebook post.
In an interview with the Ohio State student newspaper The Lantern from August, Artan said he didn't "even know where to pray" after transferring from Columbus State Community College. He continued:
"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. 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. I was kind of scared right now. But I just did it. I relied on God. I went over to the corner and just prayed."
The police haven't identified a motive for the attack and are still investigating.
Numerous Muslim and Somali leaders have denounced the attack. Hassan Omar, the president of the Somali Community Association of Ohio, told NBC News that many people were calling him, crying.
"This is a shock," Omar said. "As a Somali community here, we are in a state of shock. In Columbus, we live in a very peaceful community. This is going to affect the life of everybody. We are American, and we don't want somebody to create this problem."
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