US officials say ISIS recruiter influenced Ohio State attacker

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US officials say ISIS recruiter influenced Ohio State attacker

A man accused of influencing numerous terrorist attacks, including the Ohio State University attacker during Thanksgiving weekend last year, has been sanctioned by the U.S. Department of the Treasury.  

Abdullah Ibrahim al-Faisal, a Jamaica-based recruiter for the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, was sanctioned by the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control. He is believed to have directly or indirectly influenced numerous terrorists, including OSU student Abdul Razak Ali Artan who drove a 2002 silver Honda Civic onto a crowded sidewalk on Nov. 28, 2016.  
» MUST-READ COVERAGE: OSU releases records, videos from terrorist attack on campus

He then jumped out of the car and began slashing people with a large kitchen knife. Security cameras captured images of the Civic driving on campus but not the actual attack.  

“Faisal has recruited for and provided support to ISIS and his actions have influenced terrorists who engaged in bomb plots and other horrific attacks on innocent civilians,” said OFAC Director John E. Smith. “This designation will help deter Faisal’s global following and prevent U.S. persons from supporting him in any manner.”

The sanction designation means all property and interests in property of Abdullah Ibrahim al-Faisal’s in the U.S. are blocked, and U.S. persons are prohibited from engaging in transactions with him.  According to a state of New York indictment, Faisal is accused of recruiting others to travel to ISIS-controlled territory and, in concert with other individuals, using online applications and networks to facilitate the travel of others to join ISIS by providing them with contacts outside of the United States and advice on how to evade detection by law enforcement.  

Faisal is also accused of directly or indirectly influencing: Faisal Shahzad, the attempted Times Square bomber in New York City in 2010; Mohammed Chowdury, who planned and attempted to bomb the London Stock Exchange in 2010; Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, the underwear bomber who attempted to down an airliner over Detroit, Michigan in 2009; two of the four bombers of the July 7, 2005 bombings in London; and Richard Reid, the 2001 shoe bomber.  

Abdul Razak Ali Artan struck as many as 10 pedestrians at Ohio State, and then used a butcher knife to stab some of the pedestrians. The Cincinnati Division of the FBI said it determined the perpetrator acted alone and was not directed by a terrorist group. Also, the perpetrator appeared to have been influenced by extremist ideology, including ISIS propaganda.

The FBI said its federal investigation has ended, and that no further details are expected to be released.  OSU police officer Alan Horuijko, a 2007 graduate of Fairfield High School in Butler County, shot and killed Artan. He was cleared by a grand jury in May and lauded as a hero.

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