Ohio attacker Abdul Ali Artan was “Somali refugee”


Ohio attacker Abdul Ali Artan was “Somali refugee”

Media captionPolice say Ohio attacker hit people with car, stabbed others

A man who injured nine people, one critically, in a rampage on Monday morning at Ohio State University was of Somali descent, say US officials.

Abdul Razak Ali Artan, 18, rammed his car into a group of pedestrians on campus then got out and began stabbing people before police shot him dead.

Police Chief Kim Jacobs said they were investigating whether it was a terrorist attack.

The FBI joined the police response at the 60,000-student campus in Columbus.

Image caption
Police say the attacker drove this car into a crowd before continuing his attack with a knife

Somali-born Artan was living in the US as a legal permanent resident, unnamed officials told AP news agency.

Law enforcement officials quoted by NBC News said the attacker had left Somalia with his family in 2007, and lived in Pakistan before resettling two years ago in the US.

Asked at a news conference whether it could have been a terrorist act, Police Chief Jacobs said: “I think we have to consider that it is.”

He added: “Obviously with the purposeful intent that was noticed – driving on the sidewalk – we”re going look at it from the potential that it was planned.”

The Ohio State incident began at 10:00 local time on Monday when a vehicle jumped the kerb at the campus, striking pedestrians near Watts Hall, the science and engineering building.

Image caption
Students barricade a classroom door amid the campus lockdown at Ohio State University

Ohio State Police Chief Craig Stone said the driver got out of the vehicle and began stabbing bystanders with a “butcher”s knife”.

A police officer who was nearby because of a gas leak shot the driver in less than a minute.

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,” he said.

Media captionWould we reduce the incentive to commit a mass shooting if we refused to report the killer?

The college had warned students in a tweet to “Run Hide Fight”, warning there was an “active shooter”, though authorities later said the attacker did not use a firearm.

Hours later police declared the scene “secure”, lifting the shelter-in-place order and cancelling classes for the remainder of Monday.

Campus director of public safety Monica Moll told reporters there was thought to be only one suspect.

Columbus Police sent a SWAT team, dog units, negotiators and a helicopter to the scene.

Image caption
Ohio State University is one of the largest in the US

Federal officials from the FBI and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives also responded.

In recent months, federal officials have warned about extremist efforts to recruit people for knife and car attacks, which are seen than easier for home-grown radicals compared to bombings.

The Islamic State group has urged sympathisers to use whatever weapons are available to them to carry out attacks.

It also called on followers to use vehicles to attack the Thanksgiving Day parade in New York City over the weekend.

Image caption
After the lockdown was lifted, students were briefly scanned by police as they exited school buildings

Public school districts near to Ohio State placed their students on lockdown during Monday”s alert.

The attack came just as students were resuming classes following the Thanksgiving holiday, and after the university”s American football team defeated rival Michigan in a match that drew over 100,000 people to the Columbus campus on Saturday.

“Ohio”s thoughts and prayers go out to the Ohio State community,” Ohio Governor John Kasich tweeted.

Did you witness the attack at Ohio State University? You can email haveyoursay@bbc.co.uk with your experiences.

Please include a contact number if you are willing to speak to a BBC journalist. You can also contact us in the following ways:

Or use the form below

Your contact details

If you are happy to be contacted by a BBC journalist please leave a telephone number that we can contact you on. In some cases a selection of your comments will be published, displaying your name as you provide it and location, unless you state otherwise. Your contact details will never be published. When sending us pictures, video or eyewitness accounts at no time should you endanger yourself or others, take any unnecessary risks or infringe any laws. Please ensure you have read the terms and conditions.

Terms and conditions