ISIS claims Ohio State attacker was one of its 'soldiers'

Posted at 2:35 PM, Nov 29, 2016
and last updated 2016-11-29 17:35:59-05

ISIS claimed Tuesday that the Ohio State University attacker was one of its "soldiers," though a Facebook post suspected of being written by the assailant just before the attack failed to mention the terror group, ABC News reports.

In a message circulated online from one of its media outlets, ISIS said an "insider source" reported that the OSU attacker Abdul Razak Ali Artan "is a soldier" of ISIS and "carried out the operation in response to calls to target citizens of international coalition countries," according to a translation by the SITE Intelligence Group.

ISIS has repeatedly called on its followers to conduct attacks in the U.S., but no evidence has emerged publicly to suggest ISIS had foreknowledge of the OSU plot. The language used in this claim is similar to that used when previous so-called "lone wolves" were believed to have acted independently of the terrorist organization.

While in some previous cases it was later revealed that attackers had pledged allegiance to ISIS or its leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, in a message posted on Facebook and believed to have been written by Artan, he did not mention ISIS. Instead, he aired more general grievances against American foreign policy.

“I can’t take it anymore,” he purportedly wrote in the post, which has been reviewed by ABC News and appeared on a page that has since been disabled. “America! Stop interfering with other countries, especially the Muslim Ummah. We are not weak. We are not weak, remember that.”

Authorities said late Monday a motive for the attack had not been determined and that the investigation is ongoing. Several people were stabbed, though none fatally, after Artan drove a vehicle into a crowd and then emerged from the vehicle slashing at bystanders with a knife. Artan was shot and killed by a local policeman about a minute into the morning attack, officials said.