Sources: Ohio State Attacker Visited DC, Bought Knife

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Columbus State Community College / YouTube

Days before an 18-year-old man plowed his car into pedestrians and stabbed people on the Ohio State University campus, he visited Washington, D.C., and bought a knife, sources tell NBC News and NBC 4 New York.

Abdul Razak Ali Artan visited D.C. late last week and bought a knife at a Home Depot store there, law enforcement officials said. 

Investigators said they do not know if Artan was planning an attack in D.C.

"It's a mystery at this point. Was he planning to do something here? Was it something else? We simply don't know," one official said.

D.C. has one Home Depot store, located on the 900 block of Rhode Island Avenue NE. A man there who said he was a manager said he had not been contacted by law enforcement officials. 

Officials have said Artan bought another knife at a Walmart store in Columbus Monday morning, before he began the attack at Ohio State shortly before 10 a.m.

Officials said they do not know which knife he used in the attack that injured 11 people.

The FBI said Wednesday that it "appears" Artan was inspired by radical cleric Anwar al-Awlaki, but cautioned that that conclusion was based on a Facebook post he wrote. 

"We don't yet know if he watched propaganda videos," one official said.

The effort to go through Artan's social media pages and electronic devices is in the early stages.

Stay with News4 for more details this developing story.

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