The age of a Somali refugee who went on a terrorizing slashing attack and injured 11 at the Ohio State University Nov. 28 is being openly questioned by members of the media.
According to NBC News, Abdul Razak Ali Artan is 18 years old but his goatee, mustache, and thinning hair all indicate he could be much older, the Daily Mail theorizes.
Officials have yet to verify the dead terror suspect’s age but if he is older than what he claimed, that played a significant role in him gaining immigration status in the United States.
On Nov. 28, Artan drove a car into a campus crowd and stabbed people with a large butcher knife until a law enforcement officer shot him dead.
Earlier, on his Facebook page, he stated he had reached a “boiling point,” referred to “lone wolf attacks” and quoted 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, another post on the page said: “Forgive and forget. Love.”
Officials have yet to determine a motive for the attack that left 11 people injured.
Artan’s true age is hard to assess given that he entered the United States as a refugee in 2014.
Refugees fleeing violence and persecution in their home countries often cannot provide legal birth and identification papers as these are frequently withheld, seized or never issued in their country of origin.
And yet it happens that adult refugees pretend to be minors in order to gain asylum.
If parents of a refugee minor are granted asylum, they may apply for legal status to be extended to their child who must be unmarried and under the age of 21 to qualify. A family member granted asylum has up to two years to apply for asylum for their spouse and children.
Asylum petitioners have to prove a “well-founded fear of persecution in his own country based … on race, religion, nationality, political opinion, or membership in a particular social group” and are also subject to the Congressionally-set refugee cap of a specific calendar year.
Sources: Daily Mail, NBC News / Photo credit: Facebook via NBC New York