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Ohio State Attack Came Just Days After ISIS Video Encouraging Knife Attacks

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Russ Read Pentagon/Foreign Policy Reporter
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The Ohio State University terrorist attack came just two days after the Islamic State released a video detailing how to engage in knife attacks.

Titled “Muwahhid,” Arabic for “a believer in Allah,” the video includes an “Explanation of How to Slaughter the Disbelievers,” detailing the various methods an ISIS adherent can use to kill civilians. Ohio State University attacker Abdul Razak Ali Artan engaged in an attack using both a knife and vehicle, mirroring past attacks by ISIS, al-Qaida and Palestinian terrorists.

The video featured a Jihadist speaking in French detailing various tips on knife attacks, including instructions on how to choose the right blade and where it is most effective to strike a victim’s body. It also gives details on how to construct an improvised explosive device.

Artan attacked Ohio State University pedestrians with a car and a knife Monday, injuring 11. He was subsequently shot to death by an OSU police officer about a minute after the attack started.

ISIS initially encouraged followers living in the West to travel to the so-called caliphate in Syria and Iraq, but the group later encouraged them to engage in attacks in their home countries on behalf of the caliphate. What followed was an ongoing wave of terrorism that has stretched from San Bernardino, Calif., to Paris.

Artan mirrored two ISIS-inspired attacks, one in Minnesota and another in Nice, France. Dahir Adan, a 22-year-old Somalian-American, attacked a St. Cloud mall on Sept. 17, injuring 10 before he was shot to death by police officer Jason Falconer. Mohamed Lahouaiej-Bouhlel, a Tunisian national, used a large cargo truck to mow down pedestrians celebrating Bastille Day in Nice, France on July 14, killing 87 and injuring another 434.

Knife and car attacks are also commonplace in Israel, which has seen a wave of such violence over nearly two years. Palestinian terrorists, mostly acting alone, rammed cars into crowds and stabbed victims in public places on a nearly weekly basis when the wave was at its peak.

Despite the individualized nature of events like Ohio State, security experts warn against labeling them “lone wolf” attacks.

“Though it is commonly used to describe a lone attacker, the term ‘lone wolf’ can be misleading,” wrote the Soufan Group, a security intelligence company, in a brief Tuesday, adding “often times lone attackers engage in some level of online communication with other sympathizers or members of a terror group, even if that communication falls short of receiving orders or operational support.”

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