As reported earlier, the man behind today's gruesome attack at Ohio State University, in which he plowed a car into a crowd of people on campus and subsequently attacked bystanders with a butcher’s knife, and which some suggested was inspired by recent ISIS propaganda, was identified as 19 year old naturalized Somali Refugee Abdul Razak Ali Artan.
OSU cameras caught Artan driving his car onto university property prior the attack; they confirm that he was in the car alone and that he carried out the attack by himself.
Artan had fled Somalia with his family in 2007 before landing in Pakistan. He then moved to the United States in 2014, where he was granted legal, permanent status. It should be noted that Ohio State’s online directory only lists one student with the name, Abdul Artan.
While we expect more details will emerge about his background, as well as the motive behind the attack - which local police said was "done on purpose" and are treating the incident as a terrorist act - in the coming hours, a curious media report has emerged in which "The Lantern", Ohio State's campus newspaper, ran an interview with Artan on August 25 of this year, in which Artan criticized the school for not having Muslim prayer rooms on campus, and said "I'm a Muslim. It's not what the media portrays me to be."
The reason for his concern: “I wanted to pray in the open, but I was kind of scared with everything going on in the media,” he stated.
“I don’t blame them,” he continued. “It’s the media that put that picture in their heads so they’re just going to have it, and it’s going to make them feel uncomfortable.”
Three months later, Abdul - for reasons still unknown - tried to kill nearly a dozen innocent civilians.
Regarding Artan's motivation, sources told ABC News that authorities are looking at a Facebook posting online to determine if it is connected to the OSU suspect. The posting mentions radical cleric Anwar Awlaki and says, among other things: "I am sick and tired of seeing my fellow Muslim brothers and sisters being killed and tortured EVERYWHERE. ... I can't take it anymore. America! Stop interfering with other countries ... [if] you want us Muslims to stop carrying lone wolf attacks."
Of course, there is an irony in trying to take Americans' lives to protest America's "backlash" against Muslims; the person who prevented today's attack from being a bloody massacre is Officer Alan Horujko who fatally shot Abdul Razak Ali Artan.