Details Emerge as Ohio State Community Tries to Make Sense of Attack

“We’re blindsided by this whole thing,” said a vigil attendee.

ByABC News
November 30, 2016, 8:32 AM

— -- With campus still in a state of shock and disbelief, students and community members at Ohio State University are attempting to make sense of a shocking attack on Monday morning that left 11 people hurt.

Overnight more details emerged as students gathered on campus to pay tribute to those who injured when Abdul Razak Ali Artan smashed his car into a crowd of people before jumping out and going on a knife slashing rampage.

“We’re blindsided by this whole thing,” said Michelle Marcinick, who attended the vigil on Tuesday night.

Two days out from the attack, new details are emerging about Artan and his movements on Monday morning.

His family now says that before he launched into his car and knife attack, he began his morning with dropping his younger siblings off at school, giving no hint of what was to come or what motived his violence.

Sources familiar with the investigation told ABC News that Artan purchased the knife Monday morning at a local Walmart shortly before the attack, and that the FBI increasingly suspects Artan was inspired by ISIS to carry out the attack.

On Tuesday, the ISIS terror claimed that Artan was one of its “soldiers.”

In a message circulated online from one of its media outlets, ISIS said an "insider source" reported and that he "is a soldier" of ISIS and "carried out the operation in response to calls to target citizens of international coalition countries," according to a translation by the SITE Intelligence Group.

While ISIS has repeatedly called on its followers to conduct attacks in the U.S., no evidence has emerged publicly to suggest ISIS had foreknowledge of the OSU plot. The language used in this claim is similar to that used when previous so-called "lone wolves" were believed to have acted independently of the terrorist organization.

On Wednesday morning, President-elect Donald 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.”

Sources tell ABC News that Artan had been a legal permanent resident of the U.S. since 2014.

The sources said that before coming to the United States, Artan had lived in a refugee camp in Pakistan where he was a refugee from Somalia, a war ravaged country in East Africa.

A Facebook post suspected to have been written by Artan shortly before the attack does not include a pledge of allegiance to the terrorist organization, as in previous cases, but does say that if the U.S. wants the attacks to stop, it has to "make peace with 'dawla in al sham,'" which is how some ISIS followers have referred to the terror group.

“I can’t take it anymore,” he purportedly wrote in the post, which has been reviewed by ABC News and appeared on a page that has since been disabled. “America! Stop interfering with other countries, especially the Muslim Ummah. We are not weak. We are not weak, remember that.”

Referring to the attacker’s mother, Hassan Omar, Director of Somali Community Association of Ohio, remarked: “She said he never had a problem, he’s been here in this country only 2 years.”

“She said he loved education,” he added.

The mother’s shock is shared by those in the community, some of whom are on day two of recovery.

Anderson Payne, 28, an Army veteran, served two tours in Iraq without injury. Today he is nursing knife wounds sustained on an American college campus.

“He turned and went to swing the knife at me and I reached up with my left hand and I grabbed the blade so that it couldn’t hit me and that gave me enough time to duck under his arm and make my way into the building to get away from him,” Payne told ABC News.

Meanwhile, local Somali leaders have been quick to denounce Artan’s actions and reassure their neighbors.

“What has happened yesterday was un-Somali, un-American, un-Islamic, inhumane,” Mohamed Diini, a local religious leader told a newsconference on Tuesday.

ABC News’ Paul Blake, Stephanie Wash, Cho Park, Randy Kreider and Lee Ferran contributed to this report.