A car and knife attack by an Ohio State University student of Somali origin is being investigated as a possible terror attack, a U.S. congressman and another government source said.
The suspect, Abdul Razak Ali Artan, was shot and killed by a police officer with less than two years on the force after driving into a group of people and then jumping out of the vehicle and stabbing people with a butcher knife at the school’s Columbus campus, said Monica Moll, director of public safety for Ohio State University.
The assailant injured 11 people.
He was an 18-year-old immigrant from Somalia and a lawful permanent resident of the United States, two U.S. government sources said. Ohio State University Police Chief Craig Stone told a news conference that Artan might have been as old as 20.
Officials in the northern U.S. state said he appeared to have acted alone.
He also appears to have made an anti-U.S. posting on Facebook minutes before the attack, on a page that was quickly disabled or taken down by authorities, U.S. media said.
U.S. Representative Adam Schiff, the ranking Democrat on the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, said intelligence agencies were assisting in the investigation.
“It bears all of the hallmarks of a terror attack carried out by someone who may have been self-radicalized,” Schiff said in a statement.
Another U.S. official, who asked not to be named because of the ongoing investigation, told Reuters that U.S. agencies are investigating the Columbus attacker’s background and motivations, but cannot clearly say yet whether he had any ties to suspected militant cells or groups.
President Barack Obama was briefed on the incident by Lisa Monaco, his homeland security adviser, said White House spokesman Josh Earnest.
A spokesman for Columbus’ Somali community spoke out against the attack.
“I want everyone to know that we the Somali-American community stand shoulder-to-shoulder with our fellow Americans in condemning the sickening violence that took place in our city earlier today,” Abdi Dini, a member of the Somali community, said at a news conference in Ohio.
Officials said 11 people were being treated at local hospitals for stabbing wounds and injuries from the motor vehicle. None of their injuries were life-threatening.
The rampage comes two months after a Somali immigrant stabbed 10 people at a mall in Minnesota, before he was fatally shot by an off-duty police officer.
The Minnesota assailant, 20-year-old Dahir Ahmed Adan, was described as “radicalized” and ISIS claimed the attack as the work of an ISIS “soldier.”