OSU attacker faulted ‘moderate’ Muslims

Associated Press


A man responsible for a car-and-knife attack at Ohio State University last year left behind a torn-up note in which he urged his family to stop being “moderate” Muslims and said he was upset by fellow Muslims being oppressed in Myanmar, The Associated Press has learned.

Abdul Razak Ali Artan also told his parents in the note, reassembled by investigators, that he “will intercede for you in the day of Judgment,” according to the investigative case file of the attack obtained through an open records request.

“My family stop being moderate muslims,” says the handwritten note transcribed by investigators and found by Artan’s bed in his family’s apartment.

Artan also wrote: “In the end, I would like to say that I pledge my allegiance to ‘dawla,’” an Arabic word that means state or country and a likely reference to the Islamic State group. “May Allah bless them.”

He concludes by saying he’s leaving his property to his beloved “but yet ‘moderate mother.’”

Artan’s family was baffled by that note, which caused them a great deal of anguish, said Bob Fitrakis, a Columbus attorney representing the family. To this day, the family has no idea why Artan took those actions, he said Thursday.

“The family is mystified by what happened. They’re absolutely clueless,” Fitrakis said.

The 18-year-old Artan was shot and killed by an Ohio State officer moments after driving into a crowd Nov. 28 and then attacking people with a knife, leaving 13 injured.

In a series of Facebook rants previously reported, Artan nursed grievances against the U.S. “If you want us Muslims to stop carrying lone wolf attacks, then make peace” with the Islamic State group, he warned in those posts in which he also railed against U.S. intervention in Muslim lands.

Artan posted those comments at 9:49 a.m. Nov. 28, three minutes before the attack began, according to an unclassified FBI report showing the time line of the attack that was released through the open records request.

One of his brothers saw those comments and tried too late to contact him, thinking maybe it was a joke or his account had been hacked, Fitrakis said.

The records provided new details about Artan, including a visit he made to Washington, D.C., a few days before the attack where he also made unidentified purchases at a Walmart. The family didn’t realize he’d traveled there, has no idea why he went, and urges anyone with information about that trip to contact authorities, Fitrakis said.

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