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IS claims jihadist ’soldier’ behind Ohio attack

Update: November, 30/2016 - 11:35

CHICAGO — The Somali student who wounded 11 people in a car-ramming and knife attack on an Ohio university campus was a "soldier" of the Islamic State group, a jihadist-linked news agency said on Tuesday.

The Amaq agency said the rampage by Abdul Razak Ali Artan, a logistics student at Ohio State University, was the result of IS calls to action.

"He carried out the operation in response to calls to target citizens of international coalition countries," the agency quoted an insider source as saying, according to a translation by the SITE group that monitors extremists.

Artan was shot dead Monday by police moments after he drove his car into a crowd of pedestrians on the campus in Columbus, Ohio, and attacked them with a butcher knife.

Emerging details about Artan have led authorities to believe that he was inspired by jihadist propaganda, CNN reported citing law enforcement sources.

According to US media, Artan’s family arrived in the United States from Somalia via Pakistan in 2014. He was studying at OSU as a third-year transfer student of logistics management.

In an interview a few months ago with student newspaper The Lantern, Artan had complained of the lack of Muslim prayer rooms on campus.

"If people look at me, a Muslim praying, I don’t know what they’re going to think, what’s going to happen," he said.

US media reported that a Facebook page thought to belong to him -- since taken offline -- included grievances against the United States.

"I can’t take it any more. America! Stop interfering with other countries, especially the Muslim Ummah. We are not weak. We are not weak, remember that," a post quoted by ABC television said, using a term referring to the global community of Muslims.

"If you want us Muslims to stop carrying (out) lone wolf attacks, then make peace," the post reads. "We will not let you sleep unless you give peace to the Muslims."

Artan also referred to Anwar al-Awlaki, a US-born Al-Qaeda cleric killed in a US drone strike in Yemen, as a hero in the posting. — AFP

 

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