There are so many things that are coming out now. Thank goodness this guy didn’t kill anyone and he was stopped before he could carry out his other attacks.
The Somali refugee who went on a car and knife frenzy in Columbus, Ohio, made a mystery trip to Washington D.C. days beforehand – and bought a blade there.
The bizarre development was reported by NBC News, who revealed that Abdul Artan went to a Home Depot in the capital and bought a knife there late last week.
‘It’s a mystery at this point,’ an investigative source told the network.
‘Was he planning to do something here? Was it something else? We simply don’t know.’
Artan launched his attack on Monday, using a car then his knife to hurt innocent people before being shot by a police officer later hailed a hero.
At an press conference in Columbus the FBI said they had increased the official toll of Abdul Artan’s victims to 13 after the attack at The Ohio State University.
They also officially confirmed that they believe he was inspired by ISIS – and said he knew none of his victims.
The official confirmation that ISIS is thought to have inspired the student – who had been granted permanent residency in the U.S. – came as it emerged he had spoke out against Donald Trump and listed perceived slights against Muslims in the months before the attack.
A student journalist who interviewed Artan in September told in the Washington Post how the refugee had spoken about ‘Islamophobia’ and rattled off alleged incidents of it, claimed he feared being shot if he was seen praying in public, and expressed dislike for Donald Trump.
Trump tweeted on Wednesday that the refugee ‘should not have been in our country’.
At a press conference in Columbus, FBI Special Agent Angela Byers said it was too early to be sure that Artan was an ISIS follower – but that the investigation was pointing to it.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation was not aware of Artan as a potential threat before the rampage.
‘At this time we are not aware of anyone else being involved in the planning of this attack, but the investigation continues.
‘It appears that Artan may have at least been inspired by Anwar Awlaki and the Islamic State in the Levant [ISIS] and we will continue to pursue this as part of the investigation.’
She said that the FBI are investigating all of Artan’s electronic devices, as well as interviewing his family members.
In particular, they want to establish if he left rantings about attacks on Muslim lands on his Facebook page before the attacks.
They are also examining whether he had listened to the hate-filled preaching of Anwar al-Awlaki, the American-born cleric who took a leadership role in al-Qaeda before being killed in 2011 by a drone strike in Yemen.
Police said none of Artan’s victims appears to have known him. The 13 were named as: Anderson Payne, Keria Straughsbaugh, Kaylee Hoffner, Anthony DiCocco, Kristopher Waninger, Marc Coons, Katherine Schultz, Pavel Sergeev, William Clark, Theron Ellinger, Elizabeth Sturges, Linda Rager and Max Wieneke.