Ohio State attack: What we know about Abdul Razak Ali Artan - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Ohio State attack: What we know about Abdul Razak Ali Artan

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Minutes before his car-and-knife attack on the Ohio State University campus, Abdul Razak Ali Artan posted a photo to his Facebook page.

It was a picture of a document on a Dell computer screen with the warning: "Screenshot this before it gets deleted." Below that was a jumbled screed in which the author railed about the treatment of Muslims around the world.

It vented anger at the United States, cited the persecution of Rohingya Muslims in Burma and name-checked radical cleric Anwar al-Awlaki, calling him a "hero."

There was no specific threat of violence but a suggestion that the U.S. could stop "lone wolf attacks" by making peace with "dawla in al sham," an outdated name for ISIS. He wrote that he had reached "a boiling point" and included a bombastic vow to "kill a billion infidels" to save a single Muslim.

"By Allah, we will not let you sleep unless you give peace to the Muslims. You will not celebrate or enjoy any holiday," the post reads.

The rant was not signed but it was posted just before police say Artan rammed a relative's car into a small crowd of OSU students and staff and then jumped up with a butcher knife, slashing at them. A campus police officer shot him dead.

A senior law enforcement official said authorities are a "long way" from pinpointing a motive for the Monday morning attack, which sent 11 people to the hospital. But the Facebook post is a valuable clue to Artan's state of mind as they try to determine if the ambush was rooted in terrorism or if he had a personal problem or grudge that pushed him over the edge.

Investigators are now dissecting Artan's history, which superficially appeared to be the story of a young refugee finding opportunity in America.

He grew up in Somalia but left with his family in 2007, settling in Pakistan, according to law enforcement officials. Little is publicly known about the family's time there, but after seven years, they came to the U.S. as refugees.

According to Catholic Charities records, Artan arrived with his mother and six siblings and stayed in a temporary shelter in Dallas for 24 days, then relocated to Columbus, Ohio, a city with a sizable Somali community.

Artan attended Columbus State Community College, graduating cum laude in May 2016 with a two-year associate's degree. Video from the graduation ceremony shows him beaming as he collects his diploma in cap and gown.

He continued his studies by enrolling at Ohio State in the fall. On his very first day, he drew some attention — giving an interview and getting photographed for a feature called "Humans of OSU" in the campus publication The Lantern.

He told the reporter about his anxiety over finding a place to pray that day.

"I wanted to pray in the open, but I was kind of scared with everything going on in the media. I'm a Muslim, it's not what the media portrays me to be. If people look at me, a Muslim praying, I don't know what they're going to think," he said.

"But I don't blame them. It's the media that put that picture in their heads so they're just going to have it and it, it's going to make them feel uncomfortable. I was kind of scared right now. But I just did it. I relied on God. I went over to the corner and just prayed."

Artan's Facebook page was a melange of personal news and current events. There were pictures of him looking happy: posing with a man in a Ronald McDonald costume, smiling with his sister on graduation day.

There were posts that touched on the crisis in Aleppo, Syria and the plight of the Rohingya, a Muslim minority in Burma. Two days before the attacks he posted about the death of Fidel Castro, calling him "a hero for many and a villain for many."

"There is no denying of the fact he was responsible for the killings of many innocent people," he wrote.

Then, the morning of the violence of OSU, a couple of hours before he posted his rant, a cryptic post: "Forgive and forget. Love."

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