The community of Columbus, Ohio remain distressed after 11 were wounded during an attack that may be linked to the Islamic State, investigators claim.
The harrowing event involved an Ohio State University student who crashed his vehicle into unsuspecting pedestrians, then proceeded to attack those nearby with a knife.
He was reported to have bought a knife from the local Walmart just hours before. However, it is still unconfirmed whether or not the knife is the same weapon used during the terrifying ordeal.
Officials released a statement that the attacker, Abdul Razak Ali Artan, was fatally shot at the scene of the crime on Monday.
The Whole Story
Officials reach out to the public for any information that may help piece together Atran’s whereabouts prior to arriving at the University.
Head of Cincinnati’s FBI office, Angela Byers, reports on the current analysis of all Atran’s personal “electronic devices, social media accounts and other materials”. They are also looking into numerous interviews conducted with “family members, co-workers, neighbors and others.”
Byers stresses that it is an ongoing investigation and it may be too early to link any acts of terrorism to the crime. She released the following statement:
“At this time we are not aware of anyone else being involved in the planning of this attack, but the investigation continues.”
She also confirms allegations that “Artan may have at least been inspired by Anwar Awlaki and the Islamic State.”
This Tuesday, the Islamic State responded to the claim by taking responsibility for the act. However, Byers notes the unreliability of such statements as the organization is known to do so “after the assailant is deceased and cannot refute [the statements].”
Although Mr. Awlaki was killed by a drone strike in Yemen during 2011, claims of his influence behind the violent act are derived from his videos urging Muslim attacks on the West. He was also referenced in a Facebook post allegedly written by the suspect moments prior to the incident describing him as a hero, however officials say this is yet to be authenticated.
Victims and Witnesses
Eyewitness reports from Monday morning describe the horrific scene of a silver Honda crashing into and injuring pedestrians along the sidewalk. The man then allegedly proceeded to attack those in immediate proximity with a knife.
Alan Horujko, an Officer of the Ohio State police department, was first on scene, firing at him after orders to drop the knife were ignored. Despite the violent and traumatic event, all victims of the assault are anticipated to make a full recovery.