A student drives his car into a group of people on campus. Then he pulls out a knife, eleven people are injured. Was it an act of terrorism?
It is still unclear why Abdul Razak Ali Artan seriously injured eleven people – before he was shot dead on the university campus in Columbus Photo: ap
After the attack at a university in the U.S. state of Ohio, investigators are looking for the motive for the crime. Police are also investigating indications of a terrorist background, media reported, citing investigators. However, it is still too early for concrete statements, said the chief of the university police Craig Stone at a press conference. But what is clear, he said, is that "this was intentional."
An Ohio State University student had initially driven into a group of pedestrians on campus in Columbus on Monday. He then got out of the car and attacked bystanders with a butcher knife. Eleven people were injured. According to authorities, the attacker was shot dead within less than a minute by a police officer who rushed to the scene.
According to investigators, the suspect is Abdul Razak Ali, a native of Somalia. His exact age was not initially known. According to reports, he was at most in his mid-20s. The broadcaster CNN reported, citing an investigator, that the man had come to the U.S. via Pakistan in 2014. It was initially unclear whether there were accomplices. The Federal Bureau of Investigation is also investigating the case.
According to media reports, the man had posted an anti-U.S. political message on his Facebook page minutes before his attack. In it, he had called on the U.S. to end its interference in Muslim states. "We are not weak, remember that," he wrote, according to ABC. "We will not let you sleep until you grant peace to Muslims." In the meantime, however, the page has been blocked, he said.
Warning came via Twitter
University officials had issued a warning via Twitter that morning. Students on campus were told to flee, hide and fight. Classes were canceled on Monday. Seminars and lectures were to resume Tuesday. There are currently about 66,000 students at Ohio State University.
Ohio Governor John Kasich offered his condolences on Twitter. "My thoughts are with the victims of the attack," Kasich said, thanking emergency response teams for their quick and professional help.
The list of violent incidents on schoolyards and college campuses in the United States is long. Each year, several incidents are reported in which people are injured or killed.