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.’
His family told Ahmed that everything seemed normal, even the morning of the attack when Artan drove his sister to school in his brother’s borrowed car.
‘I asked his mom yesterday, “did you see any change, any kind of change” and she said no, everything was normal, everything was the same,’ Ahmed told NBC4i.
Mourners refused to comment to reports after leaving the burial on Thursday.
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 logistics management at Ohio State after graduating with honors from Columbus State Community College, where he earned an associate of arts degree in just one and a half years. For the past year, he had been working at a Home Depot as an hourly employee.
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.
The Islamic State released a statement after the attack, saying that Artan was a ‘soldier’ of their cause. But so far, investigators have not found any evidence that Artan was in contact with any terror groups.
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.
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