FBI investigates possible Facebook ‘declaration’ by OSU attack suspect
Federal investigators are examining a Facebook post that may have been written by the Somali-born Ohio State University student who injured 11 people Monday when he plowed his car into a group of pedestrians, then attacked bystanders with a butcher knife, law enforcement sources told Fox News.
Abdul Artan, 18, was shot and killed by a university police officer shortly after he began his attack.
One law enforcement source described the Facebook post, written earlier Monday, as a “declaration” against unfair treatment of Muslims. Fox is told that authorities believe the post was made by the same Abdul Artan behind today’s attack at OSU, but have not yet confirmed it.
ABC News reported that the post read, in part, “I am sick and tired of seeing my fellow Muslim brothers and sisters being killed and tortured EVERYWHERE. … I can’t take it anymore.”
Law enforcement sources told Fox News that the FBI is combing through Artan’s digital history and devices to see if he had contact with any suspected terrorists and for any traces of terrorist propaganda.
One source told Fox News that Artan’s use of a car in the attack recalls a recent article in ISIS’s propaganda magazine Rumiyah, which included a blanket call to followers to mirror July’s mass casualty attack in Nice, France.
Like the Nice attack, which targeted the Mediterranean city’s Bastille Day celebrations, the article suggested followers use easily obtainable objects – like trucks – to cause large-scale injury and destruction.
In September, a 20-year-old Somali-American stabbed 10 people at a St. Cloud, Minn., shopping mall before being shot to death by an off-duty officer. Authorities said he asked some of his victims if they were Muslim. In the past few years, London and other cities around the globe have also seen knife attacks blamed on extremists.
That Rumiyah article led to a Department of Homeland Security bulletin warning of possible vehicle attacks that was sent nationwide ahead of the Thanksgiving holiday.