ISIS, or the Islamic State, has claimed responsibility for yesterday’s attack at Ohio State University that was responsible for injuring 11 people, as reported by the BBC.
The purported ISIS-Ohio State attack was carried out by an 18-year-old student at the University, Abdul Razak Ali Artan, who was born in Somalia. It is not clear if the plan was orchestrated by ISIS operatives overseas or if the student conceived the plot himself.
“The executor of the attack in the American state of Ohio is a soldier of the Islamic State and he carried out the operation in response to calls to target citizens of international coalition countries,” Amaq, an ISIS-affiliated news organization, reportedly stated about the Islamic State Ohio attack.
CNN has reported that in addition to ISIS, authorities believe that Artan was also loyal to Anwar al-Awlaki, a deceased Yemini-American cleric.
Artan had been posting messages seemingly sympathetic to ISIS on Facebook in the period leading up to yesterday’s attack.
The student, who appears to be accepted by the terror group, warned the United States to “stop interfering” in the affairs of other nations.
“We are not weak, remember that,” one of Artan’s posts read.
Gordon Corera, a senior security correspondent with the BBC, stated that just because ISIS has claimed responsibility for the Ohio attack, doesn’t necessarily mean that Abdul Artan had been in direct contact with members of the Islamic State overseas.
“In this case, an individual may leave their own pledge of allegiance in written form or online or in a video,” the BBC writes, calling into question whether the Ohio student had legitimate ties to the terrorist group.
“Every single Muslim who disapproves of my actions is a sleeper cell, waiting for a signal. I am warning you, Oh America,” Artan wrote in another Facebook post, quoted by the New York Times.
Though he was never known to directly claim allegiance to the Islamic State, the Ohio State student warned America in Facebook posts that if it wanted to see an end to “lone wolf attacks” it is necessary that the country make peace with “dawla in al sham,” how ISIS refers to the territory they occupy in Iraq and Syria.
Thomas Joscelyn, with the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, offered the opinion that while the claim of responsibility on the part of the Islamic State does not prove that Artan was a member of the group, “but it increases the probability that there was one.”
Joscelyn described the attack as “unsophisticated” and “easy to carry out,” the sort of plot ISIS has encouraged in the past.
Law enforcement officials are reported to be investigating the student’s computer and cell phone, as well as his online activities and information that his family and friends may be able to provide.
Classes at Ohio State were reported to have resumed today after being canceled following yesterday’s attacks.
Abdul Artan drove a car into a group of students lured into gathering outside a building at Ohio State by a false fire alarm, attempting to injure as many as possible, before getting out and continuing the attack with a knife.
Officer Alan Horujko is credited with recognizing the danger Artan presented and shooting him before the lone wolf could cause any further harm.
Louann Carnahan, a neighbor of Artan, told CNN that she spoke with the student, who had recently transferred from Columbus State, on daily basis and that he seemed “very pleasant.”
Carnahan stated that the campus attack was unexpected and that she was “beside herself” to learn that Artan was “even capable” of such violence.
[Featured Image by John Minchillo/AP Images]