Ohio Newspaper Profiled Alleged Somali Attacker Abdul Artan in August


The Lantern, Ohio State University’s official student newspaper, profiled Abdul Razak Ali Artan in August.

Artan, the deceased Somali refugee who allegedly attacked ten people on campus Monday morning before he was shot and killed by an Ohio State University police officer, was a “third year [student at Ohio State] in logistics management.”

“Law enforcement officials told NBC News the suspect’s name is Abdul Razaq Ali Artan, an 18-year-old student at the university. He was a Somali refugee who left his homeland with his family in 2007, lived in Pakistan and then came to the United States in 2014 as a legal permanent resident of the United States, officials said,” NBC News reported on Monday.

The interview of Artan, written by Kevin Stankiewicz and Jay Panandiker, ran in the August 25 print-only version of the Lantern’s Arts and Life section, and was titled “Humans of Ohio State.”

On Monday afternoon, the Lantern ran this online version of the story, taken from its archives, which features several quotes from Artan:

“I just transferred from Columbus State. We had prayer rooms, like actual rooms where we could go pray because we Muslims have to pray five times a day.

“There’s Fajr, which is early in the morning, at dawn. Then Zuhr during the daytime, then Asr in the evening, like right about now. And then Maghrib, which is like right at sunset and then Isha at night. I wanted to pray Asr. I mean, I’m new here. This is my first day. This place is huge, and I don’t even know where to pray.

“I wanted to pray in the open, but I was scared with everything going on in the media. I’m a Muslim, it’s not what the media portrays me to be. If people look at me, a Muslim praying, I don’t know what they’re going to think, what’s going to happen. But, I don’t blame them. It’s the media that put that picture in their heads so they’re just going to have it and it, it’s going to make them feel uncomfortable. I was kind of scared right now. But I just did it. I relied on God. I went over to the corner and just prayed.”

According to this program of the 2016 graduation ceremonies at Columbus State Community College, a student with the same name as the alleged suspect, Abdul Razaq Ali Artan, graduated with an Associate Art degree, “cum laude,” on May 13, 2016.

You can view the pdf of the eight page August 25, 2016 print edition of The Lantern here.

NBC News reported that Artan “posted a rant shortly before he plowed a car into a campus crowd and stabbed people with a butcher knife in an ambush that ended when a police officer shot him dead, a law enforcement official said.”

Abdul Razak Ali Artan, 18, wrote on what appears to be his Facebook page that he had reached a “boiling point” and made a reference to “lone wolf attacks.”

“America! Stop interfering with other countries, especially Muslim Ummah (community). We are not weak. We are not weak, remember that,” the post said.

Two hours before that, a cryptic post on the page said: “Forgive and forget. Love.”

NBC News also reported Artan “lived briefly in a temporary shelter in Dallas before settling in Ohio, according to records maintained by Catholic Charities.”


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