COLUMBUS, Ohio — The attacker at Ohio State University who plowed into a group of students on campus and then began stabbing people with a knife reportedly posted remarks just prior to the attack, declaring, “We will not let you sleep unless you give peace to the Muslims.”
“I can’t take it anymore. America! Stop interfering with other countries, especially the Muslim Ummah. We are not weak. We are not weak, remember that,” wrote Somali-born Abdul Razak Ali Artan, a transfer student from Columbia State University, according to ABC News.
“If you want us Muslims to stop carrying lone wolf attacks, then make peace,” he stated. “We will not let you sleep unless you give peace to the Muslims.”
Artan also identified himself as a Muslim in August when he was interviewed for the student newspaper, stating that he was concerned about praying on campus.
“I just transferred from Columbus State. We had prayer rooms, like actual rooms where we could go pray because we Muslims have to pray five times a day,” he explained. “This is my first day. This place is huge, and I don’t even know where to pray.”
“I wanted to pray in the open, but I was kind of scared with everything going on in the media. I’m a Muslim; it’s not what the media portrays me to be,” Artan said. “If people look at me, a Muslim praying, I don’t know what they’re going to think, what’s going to happen. But I don’t blame them. 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.”
On Monday, Ohio State Police Chief Craig Stone told reporters that Artan intentionally drove his vehicle over a curb and into pedestrians, and then got out of the car with a butcher knife and began cutting people.
“I thought it was an accident initially until I saw the guy come out with a knife,” student Martin Schneider told ABC News.
Within one minute, Ohio State University police officer Alan Horujko arrived on the scene and shot Artan dead when he failed to obey orders.
Eleven people were hurt in the attack, but none of the injuries are stated to be life threatening.
While Artan had posted on Facebook minutes before the attack about his disagreement with U.S. action in Islamic countries, university president Michael Drake opined that conclusions shouldn’t be prematurely drawn that the incident was an act of terror or related to Ohio’s Somali community.
“We all know when things like this happen that there’s a tendency sometimes for people to put people together and create other kinds of theories. We don’t know anything that would link this to any community,” he said at a press conference. “We certainly don’t have any evidence that would say that’s the case.”
There had been early confusion about the attack, which was initially described as an active shooting as university Emergency Management Tweeted, “Buckeye Alert: Active Shooter on campus. Run Hide Fight. Watts Hall. 19th and College.” But Artan did not have a gun and the only shooting that occurred was that of the officer taking down the suspect when he refused to obey orders and cease his knife assault.