The Police have now commenced investigations into what could have motivated a car and knife attack by an Ohio State University student that injured 11 people on Monday before the suspect was shot dead by a police officer.
The suspect, Abdul Razak Ali Artan, was shot and killed by a police officer with less than two years on the force after driving into a group of people and then jumping out of the vehicle and stabbing people with a butcher knife at the school's Columbus campus, said Monica Moll, director of public safety for Ohio State University.
The assailant was an 18-year-old immigrant from Somalia and a lawful permanent resident of the United States, two U.S. government sources said. Ohio State University Police Chief Craig Stone told a news conference that Artan might have been as old as 20.
The officials said they could not speak on the record because of the ongoing investigation.
President Barack Obama was briefed on the incident by Lisa Monaco, his homeland security adviser, said White House spokesman Josh Earnest.
A spokesman for Columbus' Somali community spoke out against the attack.
“I want everyone to know that we the Somali-American community stand shoulder-to-shoulder with our fellow Americans in condemning the sickening violence that took place in our city earlier today," Abdi Dini, a member of the Somali community, said at a news conference in Ohio.
The campus newspaper, The Lantern, on Monday posted on its website an interview with Artan that it had published only in print in August as part of its Humans of Ohio State feature.
In the interview, Artan, a third-year logistics management student, said he had recently transferred to Ohio State from Columbus State University. Artan talked about being a Muslim and said that Columbus State had offered more accommodations for prayer.
"We had prayer rooms, like actual rooms where we could go pray because we Muslims have to pray five times a day," he was quoted as saying.
Artan said he was scared to pray openly on campus as a Muslim, saying that he feared that media portrayals of Muslims would give people the wrong idea about him.
"This place is huge, and I don't even know where to pray," he told the newspaper. "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 just did it. ... I went over to the corner and just prayed."
Of the people injured in the attack on Monday, one was critically injured, Columbus fire officials said. Eleven people were treated at area hospitals, including 10 taken by ambulance.
"It frankly took a piece out of everybody here at our beautiful Ohio State University that this could have happened here," Ohio Governor John Kasich said at a news conference.
With nearly 60,000 students, the Columbus campus is the state's flagship public university.
Monday's incident follows a stabbing attack in September at the Crossroads Mall in St. Cloud, Minnesota, where a man whose family came to the United States from Somalia wounded 10 people with a knife before he was shot to death by an off-duty police officer.
Authorities last month indicated the Minnesota attacker showed signs of radicalisation, and a Federal Bureau of Investigation special agent said his actions appeared to be "consistent with the philosophies of violent radical Islamic groups."
The university campus remained open, although classes were cancelled for the day.
Culled from Reuters