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Attack At U.S. University Wounds 11; Possible Terrorism Considered


A photo from the student daily newspaper of Ohio State University, The Lantern, shows police securing an area on the campus in Columbia following reports that a shooter was on the loose.

Police on the campus of Ohio State University said a car-and-knife attack that wounded at least 11 people was being investigated as a possible terrorist attack.

Witnesses said the alleged attacker, who was identified as a Somali-born student at the school, drove a car over a curb on the campus and into pedestrians on a sidewalk on November 28. He then jumped out of the car with a butcher's knife and began stabbing people.

School and hospital officials say 11 people were hospitalized. One person was listed in critical condition.

The attacker, who was named as Abdul Artan, 18, was killed by a member of the university's police force who officials said first yelled at Artan to drop his knife, then shot him when he refused to comply.

Asked whether investigators where treating the attack as a possible terrorist attack, Columbus Police Chief Kim Jacobs told journalists that authorities "have to consider that it is."

Officials said Artan was a legal permanent resident of the United States.

Congressman Adam Schiff (Democrat-California), who is a top official on the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, said federal law-enforcement agencies were assisting in the investigation.

"It bears all of the hallmarks of a terror attack carried out by someone who may have been self-radicalized," Schiff said in a statement.

The campus newspaper, The Lantern, posted on its website an interview it conducted with Artan published in print in August.

In the interview, Artan, a third-year logistics management student, said he had recently transferred to Ohio State from another Ohio university.

He said he was scared to pray openly on campus as a Muslim, saying that he feared that media portrayals of Muslims would give people the wrong idea about him.

"This place is huge, and I don't even know where to pray," 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 just did it. ... I went over to the corner and just prayed."

With nearly 60,000 students, Ohio State's campus in Columbus is the state's flagship public university.

Based on reporting by AP, Reuters, AFP, and dpa