A Somali immigrant named as Abdul Razak Ali Artan, an eighteen year old student at Ohio state university has been identified as the attacker in today’s multiple attack on the state university’s campus. He moved to the US two years ago after leaving Pakistan, in order to study in the US. It seems that thus far that he was unknown to law enforcement in the US.
It’s believed that the attacker first attempted to run over several other students, driving into a crowd of them, and then the attacker proceeded to get out of the vehicle and try to attack those nearby with a butcher’s knife. It’s believed that he injured nine of his fellow students. None of these injuries are thought to be life threatening. All are being treated for their wounds at nearby medical facilities.
The reason for the attack on the Columbus campus has not yet come to light. The attacker was shot and killed very quickly after his violent rampage began. He was killed by police officer Alan Horujko who was based close by due to an unrelated gas leak. It’s likely given the circumstances to be a terrorist attack, the use of the vehicle is similar to the incident in Nice that killed pedestrians during Bastille day celebrations in the Southern France seaside town.
Council president Zach Klein spoke after the incident to the media he said “The Columbus City Council stands united with Ohio State University,”. “We are continually thinking about and praying for all those involved and affected by this senseless act of violence.”
In recent months ISIS have been urging their supporters abroad to attack targets with any weapon they can find. They had also urged supporters to attack a Thanksgiving day parade in New York over the previous weekend.
This will only add fuel to the fire that currently rages in the US over the potential problems caused by immigration from Islamic countries. This fear of potential terrorism at home was well used by the president elect, as he even offered that he was going to stop immigration from Muslim countries, at least in the short term. Whilst on a practical scale this is unlikely to happen, it certainly struck home with many citizens, who after an incident like this may be even more likely to support such a move.
These certainly are difficult times for Muslims in America, with last week’s reports of a large rise in racial attacks against all minorities since Trump’s election, but most directly to Muslims. This pressure will surely only intensify further with yet another domestic terrorist incident.
Joseph is a 34 year old freelance writer from London. He has a wide interest in politics and specialises in the subject. He's also a blog writer in his spare time.