A Somali immigrant who injured 11 people in an attack at Ohio State University may have been inspired by Islamic State and the late al Qaeda-linked cleric Anwar al-Awlaki, an FBI official told a news conference on Wednesday.
The Islamic State militant group on Tuesday claimed responsibility for the attack a day earlier at the Columbus campus. Al-Awlaki was killed by a U.S. drone strike in 2011.
The attacker, Abdul Razak Ali Artan, used a car on Monday to plough into pedestrians at the school and exited the vehicle and stabbed other victims. He was an Ohio State student and a lawful permanent resident of the United States.
“At this time we are not aware of anyone else being involved in the planning of this attack, but the investigation continues,” FBI Special Agent in Charge Angela Byers told reporters.
“It appears that Artan may have at least been inspired by Anwar Awlaki and the Islamic State in the Levant and we will continue to pursue this as part of the investigation,” she said.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation was not aware of Artan as a potential threat to public safety before he carried out the rampage, she said.
(Reporting by Alex Dobuzinskis in Los Angeles; Editing by Phil Berlowitz and Jonathan Oatis)