FBI: Islamic State group might have inspired Ohio State attacker


Investigators said the attacks on the Ohio State campus Monday were committed by a single person.

However, they said Abdul Razak Ali Artan might have found the idea to drive a car into a crowd and stab people with a knife from those living in the Middle East.

"It appears Artan may have had at least been inspired by the Anwar al-Awalki and the Islamic state and the Levant and we will continue to pursue this as part of the investigation," FBI agent Angela Byers said.

Investigators said they are still trying to determine the suspect’s whereabouts' prior to the attack.

"We do know that he made a purchased a knife that morning at a Walmart on the West Side. What we don't know if that was the knife used in that attack. It's the time from the purchase to when he arrived on campus that we need to fill in which is why we want the public to help if they saw something what did they see where they saw it," said Deputy Chief Michael Woods of the Columbus Division of Police Homeland Security subdivision.

Those who study terrorism said preventing a lone attack is nearly impossible because the signs are not always evident.

"We don't understand the risk factors, we don't understand the markers, we don't understand what the move towards terrorism looks like and that puts us in a very tricky situation, " said Neil Shortland, Program Director at the Center for Terrorism and Security Studies at the University of Massachusetts, Lowell.

As for why the suspect, a student at Ohio State, chose his own school to commit this crime, police said that's a mystery too.

"There is really no determination as to why Ohio State? Why that street? we're hoping he left some digital signatures to help us," said Deputy Chief Woods.

Investigators say they are looking at everything from Facebook to other social media accounts to see if the 18-year-old suspect communicated with others about his plan, or whether he was instructed to carry out this attack.


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