Before going on his stabbing rampage yesterday, the assailant Abdul Razak Ali Artan was interviewed by Ohio State University’s student newspaper. In an interview from August, he told the paper in an article called Humans of Ohio State “”If people look at me, a Muslim praying, I don’t know what they’re going to think, what’s going to happen.” He continued that “I am a Muslim, it’s not what the media portrays me to be.”
He then stated he didn’t blame people for the views they held about Muslims. “It’s the media that put that picture in their heads so they’re just going to have it and it, it’s going to make them feel uncomfortable.”
Well, that’s ironic, to say the least.
While investigators say they’re still searching for a motive, it’s becoming increasingly obvious what it was.
According to Fox News; Abdul is said to have referred to American-born Al Qaeda cleric Anwar al-Awlaki as a “hero” on his social media accounts. Before being killed in a drone strike, Al-Awlaki had communicated with the perpetrator of the 2009 Fort Hood shooting. Syed Rizwan Farook, who killed 14 people during a 2015 rampage in San Bernardino, was also an al-Awlaki fan, as were Boston Marathon bombers Dzhokhar and Tamerlan Tsarnaev.
Law enforcement sources told Fox News on Tuesday that the reference of al-Awlaki on Abdul Razak Ali Artan’s social media accounts is “deeply concerning” because it could suggest he was self-radicalized before launching the attack. While a motive has not been confirmed, authorities are looking into whether the car-and-knife attack by the Somali-born student was an anti-U.S. terrorist attack.
The FBI is now in possession of Artan’s electronic devices and will focus their investigation on whether he was reading the two recent ISIS propaganda journals that called for attacks using vehicles and knives, a law enforcement source added.
Most disturbing of all is what he posted on his Facebook page minutes before carrying out the attack.
According to the Times of India, Artan wrote a post that began “I can’t take it anymore. America! Stop interfering with other countries, especially the Muslim Ummah (community). We are not weak. We are not weak, remember that.” If you want us Muslims to stop carrying lone wolf attacks, then make peace. We will not let you sleep unless you give peace to the Muslims” his FB post further said.
Well, looks like we found the motive…
[Note: This post was authored by Matt Palumbo. Follow him on Twitter @MattPalumbo12]