Ohio State knife attacker buried, relatives stunned
Columbus, Ohio — The Somali-born student who hurt nearly a dozen people in a car-and-knife attack at Ohio State University before a police officer quickly shot and killed him has been buried as his relatives remain stunned about his death.
Dozens of people were part of the funeral for 18-year-old Abdul Razak Ali Artan at the Masjid Ibnu Taymiyah and Islamic Center northeast of downtown, and he was buried Thursday at a Columbus cemetery, The Columbus Dispatch reported.
The mosque’s director, Ahmed Sh. Ahmed, said Artan’s mother wept as she kissed her son’s body and believes he was innocent.
“She was crying, and said, ‘I love you, my son. I know they kill you for no reason,’” Ahmed said.
Ahmed said Artan’s death shocked relatives who describe him as a nice young man and a good student.
“He had a dream to be someone to help his community and serve his community,” Ahmed said. “That’s what they told me.”
Authorities say Artan came to the U.S. in 2014 as the child of a refugee after living in Pakistan for years. He stayed with his mother and siblings in a low-rent apartment complex on the west side of Columbus and worked at a home improvement store. He was studying at Ohio State after graduating with honors from Columbus State Community College, where he earned an associate of arts degree.
The FBI has said Artan wasn’t known to FBI counterterrorism authorities before Monday’s attack. The FBI and Columbus police say Artan posted a series of Facebook rants on Monday that show he nursed grievances against the U.S., railing against U.S. intervention in Muslim lands and warning, “If you want us Muslims to stop carrying lone wolf attacks, then make peace” with the Islamic State group.
Authorities say that Artan and his family were thoroughly vetted before coming to the U.S. and that Artan underwent a second background check when he became a legal permanent resident in 2015.