New details about Abdul Artan, the Ohio State attacker, have begun to emerge. Artan’s family have claimed their innocence and told friends and family they had no idea their son was plotting a terror attack or veering towards extremism.
Via The Daily Mail:
“He was a sweet boy. This is not anything that we teach our people. We are just as shocked as everyone else. His family are in mourning. They cannot understand how this horrible situation happened. It’s just so unexpected,” a family friend said.
Similarly, Hassan Omar, the director of the Ohio Somali Muslim Association told The Daily Mail that Artan’s mother had spoken to him and said she was ‘devastated’ by his actions:
“She was, as you can imagine, shocked that her son had done such a horrible act. She cannot believe her son could kill and she felt that she hardly knew her son at all because of it.”
COED reached out to Jibril Mohamed, a lecturer of Somali language and culture at the Department of African American and African Studies at the Ohio State University, for his reaction to the attack:
“The act of violence that occurred at The Ohio State University earlier today was frightening and shocking. Such hatred has no place in our campus, city and state. The Somali Students’ Association at OSU unequivocally condemns this violent act. We pray for the victims and the families of those affected today.
While the Ohio State University police and other law enforcement agencies investigate this tragic incident, we call on all of our members to remain safe and vigilant. We know that some will connect this tragedy with the ethnicity or religion of the attacker. Neither our Somali heritage nor our faith condones the harming of innocent people.
As a student organization on Ohio State’s campus, we are just as shocked and hurt by this occurring on our campus, somewhere that we view as being a safe haven for students. Our organization not only condemns such actions but actively engages in making our organization a place of peace and unity not just on Ohio State’s campus but also within the Columbus community. As students, we definitely foresee the campus atmosphere changing within the next few weeks, with students being more on edge and vigilant while on and around campus. Regarding the suspect, we want to be clear, our organization does not have any affiliation to this person.”