Machete attack suspect may have been yelling when he went after officers
As local and federal police agencies continue to investigate a machete attack last week inside a northeast Columbus restaurant, the owner says he believes it was committed by a lone terrorist.
"I am Israeli, some people are raised to hate us, they don't know us, they don't know anything, they just want to hate us," said Hany Baransi, owner of Nazareth Restaurant and Deli on North Hamilton Road.
Mohamed Barry was shot and killed by police near Easton when he lunged at an officer while holding a machete and knife. Police say moments earlier Barry stabbed four people inside the popular Middle Eastern restaurant.
"When police stopped him, and he was attacking police, he was yelling," Baransi said. He says he was told that information by "investigators looking into the assault."
The common Islamic phrase Allahu Akbar, meaning "God is greater", has been known to be used by some terrorists moments before they have committed violence. Baransi says he was told by Police and FBI investigators Barry made the comments as he lunged at officers near Easton.
Columbus Police tell ABC 6/FOX 28 up to this point in its investigation; this is the first time they have heard the phrase "allahu Akbar" connected to the case. The FBI declined to say if those details are related to its investigation.
Baransi says none of his staff recognized Barry when he walked into his restaurant Thursday night and asked to see him. When a hostess told Barry that Baransi was not in, he left but returned a half hour later with a machete and began swinging at customers, injuring four people.
"He was a lone wolf, but he had to be fed all that hateful information," said Baransi, an Israeli Christian Arab, who knows his beliefs and outspoken views will continue to make him a target of violence. But he says it's not going to stop him from doing what he loves most: cooking for his community.
"I am not worried. I am an American, I am an Israeli, we Fight Back, they never keep us down," he said.