“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.”
Tweet by Donald Trump, November 30, 2016
President-elect Donald Trump, the First Father of the Tweet, again informed America of his amazing “I told you so” visionary capability. Once more he is waving the banners of his proposed Muslim ban and deportation policies in the wake of another dark tragedy.
Trump wants to make sure that everyone knows he is right … all of the time. He wants people to know he warned them, and they should heed his wise words without question. He tweets his "wise words" to the masses in righteous indignation.
Trump was referring to the attack at Ohio State University that left 11 injured and the suspect, identified by officials as Abdul Razak Ali Artan, dead. Artan was a legal permanent resident and student at the university. He and his family arrived in the U.S. as refugees from Somalia in 2014.
Of course, ISIS has praised the attack, according to a self-described news agency for the terrorist organization. The group called Artan a “soldier of the Islamic State” who had “carried out the operation in response to calls to target citizens of international coalition countries.”
But, ISIS has used that phrasing to describe other violent actors without laying specific claim to the act itself.
(Reena Flores. “Trump: OSU attack suspect 'should not have been in our country.'" CBS News. November 30, 2016.)
U.S. Rep. Adam Schiff, a California Democrat who sits on the House Intelligence Committee, issued a statement Tuesday evening saying it appeared Artan had been radicalized online. Schiff stated, however, that there was no evidence yet that he was communicating with radical terror organizations overseas. He was not known to the FBI prior to the attack
Authorities have told reporters that they are a "long way" from pinpointing a motive for the attack. Investigators are now busy dissecting Artan's history. On the surface it appears to be the story of a young refugee finding opportunity in America.
NBC News reported …
“Artan grew up in Somalia but left with his family in 2007, settling in Pakistan, according to law enforcement officials. Little is publicly known about the family's time there, but after seven years, they came to the U.S. as refugees.
“According to Catholic Charities records, Artan arrived with his mother and six siblings and stayed in a temporary shelter in Dallas for 24 days, then relocated to Columbus, Ohio, a city with a sizable Somali community.
“Artan attended Columbus State Community College, graduating cum laude in May 2016 with a two-year associate's degree. Video from the graduation ceremony shows him beaming as he collects his diploma in cap and gown.
“He continued his studies by enrolling at Ohio State in the fall. On his very first day, he drew some attention — giving an interview and getting photographed for a feature called "Humans of OSU" in the campus publication The Lantern.”
In the article, Artan expressed his struggles to find a place to pray in peace on the large campus.“I wanted to pray in the open, but I was kind of scared with everything going on in the media,” he said. “I’m a Muslim, it’s not what the media portrays me to be. If people look at me, a Muslim praying, I don’t know what they’re going to think, what’s going to happen.”
(Tracy Connor, Pete Williams, Tom Winter and Jonathan Dienst. “Ohio State attack: What we know about Abdul Razak Ali Artan.” NBC News. November 29, 2016.)
As Trump crows about who should and shouldn't be an American while warning of terrorist Trojan horses, does the nation – despite vetting procedures already in place – suspend immigration from Muslim countries? Will what Trump calls a new, “extreme, extreme” vetting stop people like Artan from carrying out attacks on American soil?
Ohio State President Dr. Michael V. Drake cautioned against jumping to conclusions when asked if the Artlan incident was terror-related or had anything to do with Ohio's Somali community, the second-largest in the country. One can only view clues to a possible motive.
According to federal law officials, Abdul Razak Ali Artan had written in one Facebook post he had grown "sick and tired" of seeing fellow Muslims "killed and tortured.” These officials are considering whether this supports a possible motive for his attack.
In a Facebook post shortly before the rampage, the Somali immigrant urged America "to stop interfering with other countries, especially the Muslim Ummah," a term for Muslim people at large.
"By Allah, we will not let you sleep unless you give peace to the Muslims," Artlan wrote. "You will not celebrate or enjoy any holiday."
(Dan Ponce. “Ohio State suspect Abdul Razak Ali Artan posted Facebook rant before attack. CNN Wire. November 29, 2016.)
Was Artan a lone wolf or an ISIS terrorist? Did his personal feelings of exclusion drive him to commit the crime or was he a cog in some larger movement? Should we view the actions of a seemingly deranged immigrant differently from those of other disgruntled criminals with group associations such as cartel gang members and white supremacy advocates? Was Artan suffering from mental illness or was he just a prime candidate for becoming a terrorist recruit?
And the big one …
Are far-reaching, speculative and off-hand comments about refugees by the soon-to-be President of the United States harmful to all of us?
I guess your answer depends upon your faith in the Omniscient One, the all-knowing visionary Donald Trump. Divisive comments about groups of people are his stock-in-trade. He fires them out in tweets, then he stands back from them, seemingly enjoying the upheaval they cause. Facts? Opinions? Half-truths? Lies?
"Hey, America – What? Me worry? I live in a tower and believe in walls." "Our" country? Or, "my" country?