Ohio university attacker was 'soldier' of Islamic State

Washington, United StatesUpdated: Nov 30, 2016, 12:40 AM IST

Identified as a student at Ohio State University, Abdul Razak Ali Artan was shot dead by police on Monday. Photograph:(Reuters)

The Islamic State group claimed the attacker, who rammed his car into a crowd of pedestrians and then knifed them injuring 11 people on Ohio State University campus, as its "soldier", a jihadist-linked news agency said on Tuesday, news agency AFP reported.

"The executor of the attack in the American state of Ohio is a soldier of the Islamic State," the Amaq agency quoted an insider source as saying, according to a translation by the SITE monitoring group. "He carried out the operation in response to calls to target citizens of international coalition countries."

The attacker was identified as Abdul Razak Ali Artan, a third-year transfer student of logistics management at the university.

He was shot dead on Monday minutes after he drove his car into a crowd and then attacked them with a butcher knife.

Artan was interviewed by a student newspaper The Lantern a few months ago. 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, AFP reported.

US media reported that Artan's family came to the US from Somalia in 2014. They also reported that he had wrote about his grievances against the United States on a Facebook page thought to belong to him. The page has since been removed from the social media website.

"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, reported AFP.

"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 said.

In September, a Somali resident of Minnesota had stabbed 10 people at a mall. The IS had claimed the attacker as their "soldeir".

Ohio is home to the second largest Somali community in the United States, according to the state's Somali community association. 

(With inputs from AFP)