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Ohio State University

Terrorism 'being considered' as knife attacker at US campus named as Somali-born student

Abdul Razak Ali Artan ploughed his car into a group of people before he got out ans started stabbing others.

Updated 10.19 pm 

A SOMALI-BORN college student ploughed his car into a group of pedestrians at Ohio State University and began stabbing people with a butcher knife before he was shot to death by a police officer.

Police said they are investigating whether it was a terrorist attack.

A total of eleven people were hurt, one critically, in the attack this morning.

The attacker was identified as Ohio State student Abdul Razak Ali Artan. He was born in Somalia and was a legal permanent resident of the US.

The details emerged after a morning of confusion and conflicting reports that began with the university issuing a series of tweets warning that there was an “active shooter” on campus near the engineering building and that students should “run, hide, fight.”

The warning was apparently prompted by what turned out to be police gunfire.

Ohio State Active Shooter The scene after today's attack in Ohio State University. John Minchillo / PA Images John Minchillo / PA Images / PA Images

Numerous police vehicles and ambulances converged on the 60,000-student campus, and authorities blocked off roads. Students barricaded themselves inside offices and classrooms, piling chairs and desks in front of doors.

Ohio State Police Chief Craig Stone said that the assailant deliberately drove over a curb outside a classroom building and then got out and began attacking people with the knife.

A campus officer who happened to be nearby because of a gas leak arrived on the scene and shot the driver in less than a minute, Stone said.

Angshuman Kapil, a graduate student, was outside the building when the car barreled onto the sidewalk.

“It just hit everybody who was in front,” he said.

After that everybody was shouting, ‘Run! Run! Run!’

Student Martin Schneider said he heard the car’s engine revving.

“I thought it was an accident initially until I saw the guy come out with a knife,” Schneider said, adding that the man didn’t say anything when he got out.

Most of the injured were hurt by the car, and at least two were stabbed, officials said. One had a fractured skull.

Asked at a news conference whether authorities were considering the possibility it was a terrorist act, Columbus Police Chief Kim Jacobs said:

I think we have to consider that it is.

APTOPIX Ohio State Active Shooter Student Nicholas Flores reacts as police respond to the campus attack. Adam Cairns / PA Images Adam Cairns / PA Images / PA Images

Surveillance photos showed Artan in the car by himself just before the attack, but investigators were looking into whether anyone else was involved, the campus police chief said.

In recent months, federal law enforcement officials have raised concerns about online extremist propaganda that encourages knife and car attacks, which are easier to pull off than bombings.

The so-called Islamic State group has urged sympathizers online to carry out attacks in their home countries with whatever weapons are available to them.

In September, a 20-year-old Somali-American stabbed 10 people at a St. Cloud, Minnesota, shopping mall before being shot to death by an off-duty officer.

Read: Teenage suspect in playground shooting ‘shot his father dead’ >

Read: Teenage suspect in custody after school shooting in South Carolina >

Associated Foreign Press
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