Franklin Graham: Ohio State Attack Proof Radical Islam is 'Very Real Threat,' U.S. Must Keep 'Guard Up'

Franklin Graham has said that the recent attack at Ohio State University which left 11 injured is proof that radical Islam is a "very real threat" to the United States and highlighted the importance of "keeping our guard up".
Abdul Razak Ali Artan, identified in the suspect in the Ohio State University attack, as seen in OSU's The Lantern "Humans of Ohio State" feature in August 2016. (The Lantern, Ohio State University)

Franklin Graham has said that the recent attack at Ohio State University which left 11 injured is proof that radical Islam is a "very real threat" to the United States and highlighted the importance of "keeping our guard up".

According to NBC News, on Monday, Abdul Razak Ali Artan, 18, rammed his car into a group of pedestrians at the school and then began stabbing people before police shot him dead.

Artan, a Somali refugee who left his homeland with his family in 2007, lived in Pakistan and then came to the United States in 2014 as a legal permanent resident. Shortly before the attack, he reportedly wrote on his Facebook page that he had reached a "boiling point," made a reference to "lone wolf attacks" and cited radical cleric Anwar al-Awlaki.

"America! Stop interfering with other countries, especially Muslim Ummah [community]. We are not weak. We are not weak, remember that," the post said.

Two hours before that, a cryptic post on the page said: "Forgive and forget. Love."

A police officer, Alan Horujko, was on the scene within a minute and killed the assailant, likely saving lives, university officials said. "He engaged the suspect and eliminated the threat," OSU Police Chief Craig Stone said.

While authorities continue to investigate whether the attack was an "act of terror," Graham, president of the humanitarian organization Samaritan's Purse, didn't mince words in a Facebook post shared on Monday.

"How many dots do you have to connect before you know exactly what this is?" he asked. "It looks like Ohio State University was the latest target for terror. The attacker was a Muslim immigrant from Somalia. He reportedly made reference to "lone wolf attacks" on his Facebook page and cited a radical Muslim cleric."

He added, "Pray for the students and faculty at the university, and pray for law enforcement officers. Radical Islam is a very real threat to this nation. It's so important that we keep our guard up."

Franklin Graham
(Photo : Facebook/Franklin Graham)
Franklin Graham speaking at the Decision America Tour

Artan reportedly gave an interview to university newspaper The Lantern on his first day at Ohio State on 23 August, telling reporter Kevin Stankiewicz he was concerned about fellow students reaction to his Muslim faith.

"I wanted to pray in the open, but I was 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.

"But, I don't blame them. It's the media that put that picture in their heads so they're just going to have it and it, it's going to make them feel uncomfortable."

The BBC notes that In recent months, federal officials have warned about extremist efforts to recruit people for knife and car attacks, which are seen as easier for home-grown radicals to carry out than bombings.

As it continues to lose ground in Iraq and Syria, ISIS has urged sympathizers worldwide to use whatever weapons are available to them to carry out attacks - including vehicles.

This is not the first time Graham has criticized U.S. officials - particularly President Obama - for refusing to recognize and acknowledge the threat from Islamic radicalism and terrorism.

"Mr. President, your administration has cut our military to the bone, and some experts say we're the weakest we have been in modern times," he wrote in a September Facebook post. "It's time we were rebuilding our military force worldwide to take on this enemy. It's time we tighten America's borders until we can clearly vet those we're letting into the country.

"Mr. President, how many more American lives have to be lost before you understand the threat radical Islam is to every freedom-loving person?"

Tags : Abdul Razak Ali Artan, Ohio State attack, Islam, terror, radical Islam, Ohio State