Students respond to OSU attack

A police officer and two other emergency personnel stand near a body lying near the Chemical Biomolecular Engineering and Chemistry building on OSU’s North Campus on Monday, Nov. 28, 2016. 

Cameron Gorman

Multiple reports regarding Monday’s attack at the main campus of The Ohio State University have suggested that ISIS had likely inspired the act.

CNN reported that the perpetrator, Abdul Razak Ali Artan, had Facebook posts referring to Anwar al-Awlaki, a deceased Yemeni-American cleric who was a leader of al Qaeda in Yemen. The report then referred to the style of the attack, saying it was similar to what was encouraged by ISIS in a recent online magazine post.

It was also stated by CNN, that even though there had been claims from Islamic State’s media that Artan was a soldier of ISIS, there is no confirmation that Artan had communication with any specific terror group. It is believed that he acted as a “lone wolf.”

The incident sent 11 people to the hospital after Artan drove his car into a crowd of people and slashed them with a butcher’s knife.

Artan was then shot and killed by Ohio State University Police Officer Alan Horujko, after Artan refused to obey orders.

Ali Kalberer, a freshman health science pre-med major at OSU, said that regardless of Artan’s involvement with ISIS, he still performed an act of violence with the intention of killing.

“Independent of any title or affiliation, that is an act of terrorism by the definition,” Kalberer said.

Kalberer said that as a student living a block from where the incident took place, she is disappointed and devastated.

“We hear about similar events happening everywhere,” Kalberer said. “It really has a different effect on how you think about the safety of our communities here in the U.S. when it happens five minutes from where I lay down to sleep every night.”

OSU’s student-run newspaper, The Lantern, reported that the news was posted via the terrorist group’s Amaq News Agency, and called Artan a “soldier of the Islamic State.”

Merit Godbey, a junior pre-law major at OSU, said that ISIS has a tendency to claim attacks committed by Muslim individuals, but that doesn’t mean he is in any way or form actually attached to the radical group.

“Until police come out with his motives publicly … speculation can, and only will cause harm,” Godbey said, via Twitter. “(OSU) shouldn’t be dumb enough to … fall prey to hear, say or to create racial tensions without knowing the facts in their entirety.” 

Marissa Rombach, a freshman journalism and mass communication major at Kent State University, said it’s scary to think that someone said to be related to an ISIS attack was at a nearby university.

“That (OSU) is close to us, that could be someone here at Kent State,” Rombach said.

Daniel Lauson, a Kent State senior environmental geography major, said he thinks ISIS will take credit for any sort of violent act on American soil — just to be known for it.

“I think they’re just doing that for their propaganda, but other than that — overall, it’s sad that people do those attacks,” Lauson said. 

NBC news reported that Artan had posted threatening messages on his Facebook prior to the attack, stating, among other things, “Every single Muslim who disapproves of my actions is a sleeper cell, waiting for a signal. I am warning you, Oh America.”

Maria Cardillo, a Kent State senior graphic design major, said she didn’t expect the situation to be that serious.

“It’s really sad, because there’s so much going on right now,” Cardillo said. “It just adds to people’s fear, and that’s really upsetting.”

Cameron Gorman is a diversity reporter. Contact her at [email protected].