Family members of Ohio State University jihadist Abdul Razak Ali Artan claim a tweet by President-elect Donald Trump is making them “very afraid” for their safety, according to their lawyer.
As WND reported, Somali refugee Abdul Razak Ali Artan stabbed Ohio State University students with a butcher knife on Nov. 28. He praised a well-known al-Qaida terrorist on his Facebook page minutes before his attack, and ISIS’ news service claimed Artan was a “soldier” for the terror group.
Police shot and killed Artan as he was attacking students outside a science building. Eleven people were transported to area hospitals with various injuries, according to the Columbus, Ohio, fire department. Artan was reportedly an Ohio State student – an 18-year-old Somali refugee who left Somalia with his family for Pakistan in 2007 and obtained a green card to enter the U.S. in 2014.
Just two days after the bloody attack, Trump tweeted: “ISIS is taking credit for the terrible stabbing attack at Ohio State University by a Somali refugee who should not have been in our country.”
That tweet received more than 107,000 “likes” and was re-tweeted nearly 35,000 times.
But Artan’s family claims Trump’s tweet has made them fear for their safety, family lawyer Robert Fitrakis told Voice of America News Monday. He said Artan’s family is in “tremendous shock.”
““They [the family] are very afraid, and they expected to be attacked when they go to school or in the community. There is a great fear up there. With the statement of the President-elect Trump, to some extent I am not sure they want their faces on camera,” he told VOA.
“Me I do not care, I believe in the American values. I don’t believe in corruption of the blood and guilty by association,” he said. “This family is innocent, shocked and traumatized. They really want an answer.”
The VOA report says Artan’s family “wants proof” that he committed the crime.
“They believed something influenced their son or their brother and they want to get to the bottom of it,” Fitrakis told the news organization. “They want to make sure that nobody else has to go through the pain, the suffering and the trauma they are going through.
“The mother, Faduma Saeed Abdullahi, is a single mother who was raising seven children including Artan. She was really very obsessed with education and the father of the family is still in Somalia to my understanding,” he said.
The lawyer told VOA the family is having trouble accepting that Artan could have committed the attack described in news reports.
“Abdul graduated from the Ohio community college last summer with cum laude. He was a polite and hard working person who was spending most of the time either working at Home Depot or studying,” Fitrakis said. “[The] family told me he was a good man with a brighter future and they want to know to a large extent to see some kind of proof,” Fitrakis said. “What they want to see is the video types.”
Artan’s family said he didn’t have many friends when he lived in Pakistan. Fitrakis said Artan’s reported trip to Washington, D.C., where he purchased a knife on Nov. 24, also shocked them.
“The fact [was] that he never went out of central Ohio or Columbus area since the family came here, and his trip to Washington DC left the family very suspicious,” Fitrakis said. “He used an old car that had 200,000 miles on it to drive to D.C.”
As WND reported, Columbus, Ohio, is home to the second largest community of Somali refugees after Minneapolis. More than 99 percent of Somali refugees are Sunni Muslims. The Somali refugee program has been ongoing since at least 1990, and the U.S. State Department continues to bring in between 5,000 and 10,000 Somalis per year, according to the agency’s Refugee Processing Center.
In all, the U.S. government has imported more than 132,000 Somali Muslim refugees and distributed them into at least 300 U.S. cities and towns. More than 40 Somalis living in America have left the country since 2007 to fight for terrorist organizations, including the Islamic State, al-Qaida and al-Shabab, according to FBI reports. Dozens of others have been tried and convicted of providing material support to overseas terrorist organizations.
Artan’s attack on the OSU campus is the second such knife attack in Columbus this year by a Muslim immigrant.
In February, four people were wounded, one critically, while dining at the city’s Nazareth Mediterranean Restaurant, which is owned by an Arab Christian from Israel. The attacker in that case was Mohamed Barry, an immigrant from the West African country of Guinea who slashed diners with a machete before he was killed by police while shouting, “Allahu Akbar!”
The Islamic State and al-Qaida have encouraged Muslims to attack infidels with vehicles and knifes.