Did OSU attacker have contact with ISIS?

Abdul Artan (CREDIT: The Lantern)
Abdul Artan (CREDIT: The Lantern)

COLUMBUS (WCMH) — From around the globe, ISIS is claiming responsibility for the attack Abdul Artan committed at Ohio State University on Monday – but around the corner from his residence, that doesn’t seem fathomable.

“I do not think he was a terrorist and I do not think it was a terrorist attack,” said Nikki Jennings, who works at the market just steps away from Artan’s apartment building.

She said she saw him “almost every day” – noting that he came in often to buy candy and was frequently accompanied by his mother and siblings. She most recently saw him a few days ago.

“He was very quiet, very respectable,” she added.

U.S. Intelligence Officials told NBC News that the 18-year-old student made no known contact with ISIS. Speaking at a press conference Tuesday afternoon, OSU professor William Clark, who was injured in the attack, didn’t want to speculate on the student’s association with any terrorist organizations.

“Anybody can take responsibility for anything they want, if they see it as a feather in their cap,” Clark says.

President-elect Donald Trump weighed in on the Artan with a tweet Wednesday morning.

“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,” Mr. Trump wrote on Twitter.

The FBI tells NBC4 it’s too early in the investigation to know how much influence, if any, ISIS had on Artan’s decision to attack students and faculty at the school, sending 11 to the hospital.

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