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Somali student behind car, knife attack at Ohio State University that injured 11

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FOX — An 18-year-old Somali student was behind an attack involving a car and butcher knife on the campus of Ohio State University Monday that left 11 people injured, officials said.

After the attacker, identified by authorities as first-year student Abdul Razak Ali Artan, plowed his vehicle into the crowd, officials said he got out of the vehicle and began attacking people with a butcher knife before he was shot and killed by a campus police officer.

Two law enforcement sources told Fox News that Artan came into the United States as a Somali refugee, and was granted status as a legal permanent resident.

Ohio State’s student newspaper, The Lantern, ran an interview in August with a student named Abdul Razak Artan, who identified himself as a Muslim and a third-year logistics management student who had just transferred from Columbus State in the fall.

He said he was looking for a place to pray openly and worried about how he would be received.

“I was kind of scared with everything going on in the media. I’m a Muslim, it’s not what media portrays me to be,” he told the newspaper. “If people look at me, a Muslim praying, I don’t know what they’re going to think, what’s going to happen. But I don’t blame them. It’s the media that put that picture in their heads.”

The motive behind the attack is still unclear, according to law enforcement sources, but investigators are not ruling out anything at this point. Columbus Police Chief Kim Jacobs said authorities were looking into whether it was a terrorist attack.

Ohio State Police Chief Craig Stone said the attacker purposely drove over a curb and into pedestrians.

“This was done on purpose,” he said.

Monica Moll, the school’s public safety director, told reporters the attack took place in front of Watts Hall, the location of the Department of Materials Science and Engineering, around 9:52 a.m.

A nearby campus officer identified by Moll as Alan Horujko engaged the suspect, who was attacking people with a butcher knife, and shot and killed him within minutes.

“The threat ended when the officer shot the suspect,” she told reporters. Moll said that “injuries were minimized,” due to the rapid reaction of campus police.

“We all owe a debt of gratitude,” to Horujko, she told reporters.

Ohio State University said in a statement the injuries in the attack included stab wounds, and being struck by a vehicle.

Jerry Kovacich, a third-year in welding engineering, told the school’s newspaper, The Lantern, that he witnessed a man in a car try to drive into a crowd of people after a fire alarm went off. After the car crashed, Kovacich told the newspaper he witnessed the man then attack bystanders with a knife.

“I didn’t see anything with the shooter, what happened was it was outside of MacQuigg Lab,” Kovacich told The Lantern. “The guy ended up just coming and hopping the curb with his car and trying to mow down a couple people. He lost control, and I think he ended up hitting three people, and then people were around the car. Somebody asked him if he was OK and the guy just hopped out of the car with a butcher knife and starting chasing people around.”

Numerous police vehicles and ambulances converged on campus, and authorities blocked off roads. Students barricaded themselves inside offices and classrooms, piling chairs and desks in front of doors. Classes were canceled for the rest of the day.

The school initially sent out a campuswide alert at 9:56 a.m. local time which read, “Buckeye Alert: Active Shooter on campus. Run Hide Fight. Watts Hall. 19th and College.”

UK

London stabbing murders: 18-year-old arrested on suspicion of killing two young men on same night in Camden

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THE INDEPENDENT — An 18-year-old has been arrested on suspicion of murdering two young men who were stabbed to death within two hours of each other in north London.

Police confirmed the deaths of Abdikarim Hassan, 17, and Sadiq Aadam, 20, in Camden on Tuesday evening.

The suspect was also arrested on one count of grievous bodily harm after a 16-year-old boy was stabbed outside a block of flats. He remains in hospital with non-life threatening injuries.

Mr Hassan died in front of his mother after being stabbed in the chest at around 8.30pm. Mr Aadam died a short time later, with witnesses saying he had been slashed with a samurai sword.

Despite being given first aid by police, both men died at the scene of the stabbings.

Police say Mr Aadam and a friend were chased by a group of four men along an alleyway before the attack. The friend was unharmed.

Paul Considine, the detective chief inspector leading the investigation, said: “What is clear is that there were three violent attacks, by a group of men armed with knives, within about two hours of each other and within about a mile of each other.

“I need the public’s help to establish the exact circumstances in which two young men were murdered and another seriously injured, and to identify the people responsible.

“Today, I am asking local residents or those people who were out in the area that night to think back – and if they saw something that may help us, please get in contact. I can understand why some people may be reluctant or nervous about coming forward but we need your help. We will treat your information in the strictest of confidence.”

Mr Aadam is reportedly the third member of his family to die in a knife attack in five years. Mohamed Aadam, his brother, was murdered in the middle of the day in Camden Town in September, weeks before his 21st birthday, The Camden New Journal reported.

Their cousin, Mohamed Abdullahi, also known as “Lefty”, was murdered in June 2013 aged 20.

Mr Abdullahi’s father and the Aadam brothers’ uncle, Aydarus Ahmed, has campaigned to end knife violence since his son’s death.

“The frequency with which young men are prepared to take each others’ lives is shocking,” Mr Considine said. “We all have a part to play in preventing this. If you know something about these murders then please do your part in helping us with this investigation.

“One line of enquiry that we are urgently pursuing is that a blue van was seen in the area of the two murders. If you saw a vehicle that caused you concern due to how it was being driven or the people inside it then please get in touch with us.”

London has seen large rises in knife crime since then. Recorded incidents rose by 23 per cent in the capital during the 12-month period to the end of September last year, according to the Office for National Statistics.

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Crime

Two Somali men stabbed to death in north London as 2018 toll reaches 15

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Two men have been stabbed to death within two hours of each other in the same London borough, bringing the number of people fatally wounded with knives in the capital in 2018 to at least 15.

The Metropolitan police launched two separate murder investigations into the killings on Tuesday night but said they had not ruled out the possibility of a link between them.

The first victim was found with stab wounds in Bartholomew Road, Camden, at about 8.30pm. He was pronounced dead at the scene. He was named by family members as 17-year-old Abdikarim Hassan.

Officers were later called to reports of a disturbance in Malden Road, Camden, at about 10.15pm, and found 20-year-old Sadiq Adan Mohamed with serious stab wounds. He was also pronounced dead at the scene.

No arrests have been made.

Hassan came to the UK from Somalia when he was two years old and was the eldest of six children, his uncle Yusuf Ahmed said.

He was a student at Westminster college and was a “good guy” who was “always smiling” and liked playing football, he said.

Elsewhere in London, a 24-year-old man who was shot in the head in Westminster on Tuesday night remains in a critical condition in hospital. Two people were arrested at the scene on suspicion of attempted murder.

Reacting to the most recent stabbings, Commissioner Cressida Dick said: “London must come together to make it clear that this cannot continue. We will not police our way out of this problem. There is a role for all of us – London’s public, our partners and the police.

“There will be young people out today who are carrying knives. Stop and think: do you really want your life to end?”

Police deployed extra patrols across Camden overnight, while a section 60 order – which gives police the right to search people in locations where they believe serious violence will take place – was in force until 7am on Wednesday.

Official figures show 2017 was among young people since at least 2002. Forty-six people aged 25 or under were stabbed to death in London, 21 more than the previous year, according to police figures.

The mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, who has faced criticism for his handling of knife crime, said: “This morning I am asking the prime minister and the home secretary to urgently meet with me, my deputy mayor for policing and the commissioner of the Metropolitan police service to discuss what more can be done across government – including policing, youth services, sentencing, health services, probation and prisons – to tackle the evil of knife attacks on Britain’s streets.”

The latest phase of a Met police operation to fight knife crime resulted in nearly 300 arrests and the seizure of more than 250 weapons. Throughout the week-long operation officers recovered 265 knives, six firearms, and 45 other offensive weapons.

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Columbus, Ohio

Ismail Mohamed Wants To Be Ohio’s First Somali-American Legislator

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Ismail Mohamed, a candidate for Ohio's 25th House District, would be the state's first Somali-American legislator. CLARE ROTH / WOSU

Home means a few different things for Ismail Mohamed.

Right now, Mohamed works in Cincinnati as a staff lawyer at Baker Hostetler. He was born in Somalia, a country his family was forced to flee in the early 2000s as the civil war unfolded. But he feels his deepest connection is to the Columbus neighborhood where he was raised.

Mohamed graduated from Northland High School about a decade ago, earned a Bachelor’s and a law degree from The Ohio State University, and returned to the Northland last spring. Now, he’s running to represent the 25th District in the Ohio House.

“I reached out to a lot of different politicians to kind of get answers on some of the concerns that are going on, and I was not getting the answers that I thought were really addressing the issues. So that’s what prompted me to run,” Mohamed said.

Mohamed will challenge Democratic incumbent Rep. Bernadine Kennedy Kent in the May primary. If he wins that election, and the subsequent general in November, he’d be the first Somali-American state legislator in Ohio and the second in the country.

Mohamed says his district includes a lot of New American communities, including from Somalia, Nepal and other foreign countries.

“It’s critical we’re promoting such communities to really advance our goals and our policies in the future,” he says. “I’m so honored to be that poster-child and push that forward.”

But Mohamed says those groups are part of the larger fabric of the 25th District, and the issues they face are largely the same.

“The biggest issue in our community, I would say, is lack of economic development. The 25th [House District] has the lowest income rate — I think median income is $31,000,” he says. “A little more than half have high school diplomas. So there’s lack of educational attainment as well, which is driving the poverty issue.”

Mohamed is only 25 years old, far younger than the average age of Ohio lawmakers. But he said he doesn’t believe his lack of political experience will get in his way.

“Someone who doesn’t have a lot of ties to a political party, doesn’t have ties to the political machine, and is able to directly touch our constituents — I think that puts me in a better position,” he says.

And as tensions over immigration rise all over the country, Mohamed says local politics are more important than ever.

“It’s not just a national arena that’s defining us,” he says. “It’s more us defining what’s going in the national arena.”

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