In the aftermath of a terrorist attack by a Muslim student on the campus of Ohio State University, Columbus City Council president Zach M. Klein, a Democrat, said that the bloody assault was “an isolated incident.” The blame, he said, rests with the lone attacker rather than the wider Muslim community.
Police believe that Abdul Raza Ali Artan, a 20-year-old Somali man, jumped the curb in a car yesterday morning and struck several pedestrians on purpose. After descending from the car, he stabbed and slashed several persons with a large knife before being shot to death by a police officer. The incident is being investigated as an act of terrorism. Subsequent to the attack, a website affiliated with the Islamic State hailed Artan as a “brother” in the worldwide struggle against the United States and western countries.
Klein and other members of the city council visited the Ibnu Taymiyah Masjid and Islamic Center in northeast Columbus to speak with members of the Muslim and Somali community. They will participate in a Muslim prayer service.
Student Andy Payne told the Springfield News-Sun that he left a building because he heard a fire alarm. It watched Artan jumped the curb in his car and struck pedestrians outside a classroom building. Payne (27) said when he went to give aid the the injured, Artan slashed at him with a knife. Payne grabbed Artan’s knife with his left hand and prevented the Muslim from stabbing him. However, he has undergone surgery to repair tendons and nerves in his damaged hand.
Minutes before the attack, Artan railed against U.S. foreign policy towards Muslim countries. He warned that he belonged to a "a sleeper cell, waiting for a signal." He added, that if the United States wants "Muslims to stop carrying lone wolf attacks, then make peace with 'dawla in al sham,'" which is also known as the Islamic State.
Ohio State University will hold a vigil on campus tonight at the university's former basketball arena.
Artan said in an interview for The Lantern -- a campus publication -- two months before the attack, that he was upset about a lack of places for Muslim prayer. Ohio State University has at least three designated places for Muslim prayer. Muslims can also pray at home.