IS claims Ohio university attack
COLUMBUS –– The Islamic State group has claimed responsibility for a car and knife rampage at a US college on Monday that left 11 people injured.
The attack at Ohio State University was carried out by Somali-born Abdul Razak Ali Artan, a student at the Columbus campus, authorities said.
The IS-affiliated Amaq news agency called the 18-year-old business undergraduate a “soldier”.
There is no immediate way to verify the group’s claim.
“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 said.
The publication did not say if the attack was directed from abroad, or if Artan had been self-radicalised.
Amaq also posted an image of Artan wearing a blue shirt and sitting with greenery in the background.
He was shot by a campus police officer after he drove his car at a group of people and then got out to attack them with a “butcher’s knife”, police said.
Most of the victims were injured by Artan’s car, but two were stabbed and another suffered a fractured skull, officials said.
Four people are still in hospital.
One of the wounded victims, William Clark, an Ohio State University professor, described how Artan’s vehicle had “mounted the kerb” and crashed into a large concrete planter before bouncing off and striking him.
“As it was stopping, it clipped the back of my right leg and basically flipped me up in the air and I landed on the concrete,” he told a news conference.
Clark said Artan then exited the car and began attacking students before he was shot down.
Surveillance photos showed Artan in the car by himself just before the attack, but investigators are looking into whether anyone else was involved.
Dozens of FBI agents have searched Artan’s apartment for clues as to what may have triggered the attacks.
Neighbours described him as polite and said he attended daily prayers at a mosque on the city’s west side.
Artan, who was born in Somalia and was a legal US permanent resident, arrived in the country 2014 as a child of a refugee.
He had been living in Pakistan from 2007-2014.
Artan recently posted on Facebook about US treatment of Muslims, according to the AP, citing a law enforcement official who spoke on the condition of anonymity.
“If you want us Muslims to stop carrying lone wolf attacks, then make peace” with the Islamic State group, he allegedly wrote.
“Every single Muslim who disapproves of my actions is a sleeper cell, waiting for a signal. I am warning you Oh America!” Artan reportedly said.
Representative Adam Schiff of California, the top Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, said the act was indicative of someone who may have been self-radicalised.
Militants of the so-called Islamic State have found recruits in the US Somali community in recent years.