Investigators are searching for a motive for the attack on Ohio State University students that took place Monday morning. The attack, which injured 11 people, was executed by a transfer student, Abdul Razak Ali Artan.
Artan, who was shot and killed by an officer, started the attack by running his car into a group of people on campus. He then chased people in the area with a knife.
While one student noticed Artan was silent during the attack, he wasn't silent beforehand on social media. Artan's Facebook posts before the attack said he had grown "sick and tired" of seeing fellow Muslims being "killed and tortured," according to CNN. He also called for the U.S. to stop interfering with "the Muslim Ummah," meaning Muslim people at large. Artan left Somalia in 2007 for Pakistan and is now a legal permanent resident in the U.S. after applying for refugee status, according to NBC.
Artan started at Ohio State in the fall, after graduating from community college this past May. He was interviewed by the school paper, The Lantern, for their feature "Humans of OSU." In the interview, he expressed fear about showing his Muslim identity, saying he was afraid to pray in public. The reporter who conducted the interview, Kevin Stankiewicz, talked to The Lantern Monday about his impressions of Artan.
“I don’t know what was in his heart, he spoke really softly,” Stankiewicz said. “He did not seem angry.”
It's a relief that none of the victims were killed in this horrific attack. Let's just hope that this doesn't give rise to more Islamophobia and anti-refugee sentiment—NPR reports that Somali Muslims in Ohio are worried about the backlash that may ensue.