The media arm of the Islamic State claimed Tuesday that the Ohio State student who crashed a car into a campus crowd and then lashed out with a butcher knife was a "soldier'' of the terror group who heeded appeals to strike the U.S., and its allies, reports USA Today.
The claim issued by Amaq news agency makes no suggestion that the assailant, Abdul Razak Artan, had been in direct contact with the group or was formally affiliated with the organization, according to a transcript of the report provided by SITE Intelligence Group, which monitors radical organizations.
"The executor of the attack in the American state of Ohio is a soldier of the Islamic State and he carried out the operation in response to calls to target citizens of international coalition countries,'' according to a translation of the Amaq report provided by SITE.
SITE Director Rita Katz immediately cast doubt on any formal affiliation between the suspect, a member of a Somali refugee family, and the terror group also known as ISIS or ISIL.
"This style of reporting by ISIS indicates it wasn't coordinated with the group,'' Katz said Tuesday, adding that the attack, however, was consistent with recent public appeals from the group to lash out using vehicles and knives as weapons.