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Treasury Department Sanctions ISIS Recruiter Who Influenced Ohio State Attack

John Minchillo
Associated Press
Crime scene investigators collect evidence from the pavement as police respond to an attack on campus at Ohio State University on Nov. 28, 2016.

The U.S. Department of the Treasury took action this week against Abdullah Ibrahim al-Faisal, a Jamaica-based cleric they say provides "recruitment services" to ISIS and helped influence the Ohio State student who injured 13 in a car-and-knife attack last year.

According to a press release from the department, all Faisal's property and interests in U.S. jurisdictions have been blocked and Americans are prohibited from engaging in transactions with him.

"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 John E. Smith, director of the Office of Foreign Assets Control, in a statement.

The Treasury Department says that in addition to ISIS recruitment, "Faisal has directly or indirectly influenced numerous terrorists, including the Ohio State University attacker during Thanksgiving weekend in 2016."

On Nov. 28, 2016, Abdul Razak Ali Artan, a then-18-year-old Ohio State student, rammed a car into a group of pedestrians on campus before attacking people with a large knife. Thirteen people were injured in the attack, before Artan was shot and killed by a campus police officer.

An FBI investigation found that Artan acted alone, but was likely influenced by ISIS propaganda.

Other terror attacks connected to Faisal include Richard Reid, the 2001 shoe bomber; the London bombings in 2005; the Detroit underwear bomber in 2009; an attempted Time Square bomber in 2010; an attempted London Stock Exchange bomber in 2010; and the Garland, Texas, shooter at a Mohammed drawing contest in 2015.

The New York County District Attorney's office indicted Faisal in August on charges of recruiting and supporting members of ISIS. According to the Treasury Department, Faisal was arrested in Jamaica and is facing extradition proceedings.

Gabe Rosenberg joined WOSU in October 2016. As digital news editor, Gabe reports breaking news and edits all content for the WOSU website, as well as manages the station's social media accounts.