The attack on Monday at Ohio State University highlights the enduring influence of radical cleric Anwar al-Aulaqi, who was killed in a US airstrike in Yemen in 2011. Abdul Artan, who shortly before the Ohio State attack posted a statement on Facebook praising Aulaqi as “our hero,” drove his vehicle through a crowd and struck fellow students with a knife, injuring 11. Artan’s motives are still under investigation., and in the same Facebook post, he made references to ISIS and lone-wolf attacks.
Al-Qa’ida in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) continues to influence the global English-speaking jihadist community through newly created Inspire Guides, which allow the group to take credit for attacks and provide guidance for future operations. AQAP has not successfully executed an attack in the West since the operation in January 2015 against the offices of the satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo in Paris.