Washington- ISIS militant group, through its official news agency Amaq, said on Tuesday that the perpetrator of Ohio State University (OSU) attack was one of its “soldiers.”
“The executor of the attack in the American state of Ohio is a soldier of ISIS, and he carried out the operation in response to calls to target citizens of international coalition countries,” a claim issued by the Amaq news agency said.
Identified as a student at Ohio State University, Abdul Razak Ali Artan was shot dead by police on Monday moments after he drove his car into a crowd of pedestrians and attacked them with a butcher knife.
Columbus Dispatch reported that the case is being investigated as a potential terrorist act by the FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force, which includes Columbus police.
The Associated Press said that the attacker was born in Somalia and was a legal permanent U.S. resident.
Although law-enforcement officials said they don’t yet have a motive for the attack that injured 11 people, they are investigating a Facebook post that Artan is believed to have written beforehand, ABC Channels reported.
Appearing three minutes before the beginning of the rampage, the post reads: “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.”
In the post, the OSU third-year student criticized the United States for interfering in other countries and, “If you want us Muslims to stop carrying out lone wolf attacks, then make peace.”
“We will not let you sleep unless you give peace to the Muslims,” the post read.
By late Monday afternoon, Columbus police said they had taken over both investigations: the initial assault and attack on the students as well as the fatal shooting of Artan.
They refused to speculate on a motive, but Columbus Police Chief Kim Jacobs said that Homeland Security, the FBI and state authorities are all involved.
No official would call it an act of terror, but no one could rule it out, either.
According to ABC channel, the Facebook post also invoked the name Anwar al-Awlaki, a radical American-born al-Qaeda cleric, describing him as a “hero.”
Al-Awlaki was killed in 2011 but his propaganda has been linked to several domestic terrorist attacks in the years after his death.