The Islamic State has claimed responsibility for the Monday car and knife attack on Ohio State University, describing 18-year-old Somali-born terrorist Abdul Razak Ali Artan as one of its “soldiers.”
The Islamic State’s al-Amaq news agency issued a statement making the claim. Vocativ notes that ISIS often makes dubious claims of responsibility for terrorist attacks, but also points out that official Islamic State media released a video encouraging “lone wolf” terror attacks on Saturday, specifically recommending knives instead.
In that video, a French-speaking jihadi advises to not “spare women, children and the elderly” and consider “a simple weapon, like a pocket commando knife.” The video also instructs viewers on how to stab to maximize the deadliness of the attack.
An Islamic State-linked propaganda magazine released in early November made similar suggestions, urging lone wolf attacks as a response to the slow, but largely successful coalition assault on Mosul, the terrorist group’s last major stronghold in Iraq.
Artan ran over and stabbed 11 people, none of them fatally, before being shot dead by heroic Ohio State University police office Alan Horujko.
Artan posted an angry screed on Facebook minutes before he began his attack, in which he complained about the treatment of Muslims across the world, praised radical cleric Anwar al-Awlaki as a hero, and suggested the United States could halt the sort of “lone wolf attack” he was about to perpetrate by making peace with the Islamic State. He used what NBC News describes as an “outdated name for ISIS” in his manifesto.