WICHITA, Kansas — Wichita State University announced the death of one of their students.
Abduljaleel Alarbash, 22, was killed in a terrorist attack Friday morning at a mosque in Dammam, Saudi Arabia.
Reports indicate that Alarbash, acting as a volunteer security officer outside the mosque, stopped the suicide bomber from entering the building, ultimately saving up to one thousand lives.
“He captured the bomber. He [knew] he had a bomb, but he refused to let him get inside the mosque,” said Ali Al-Baqshi, a friend of Alarbash.
“We are lucky we have a hero who saved many people,” said Mohammed Bujbara, another friend and peer at WSU.
The picture, at left, is the final picture taken of Abduljaleel Alarbash before he was killed. It is a SnapChat selfie he sent to his friends and peers at Wichita State University. We are told it was taken two hours before the suicide bombing at the mosque in Saudi Arabia. He is pictured right outside the mosque with other security volunteers.
“He [Alarbash] stepped up and he showed compassion to others. He showed mercy to others, and he did that when he was alive, and he did that before he passed away,” said Naim Ballout, the president of the Ahlul Bayt Islamic Center in Wichita.
Alarbash was a undergraduate student in electrical engineering at Wichita State and had returned to Saudi Arabia to get married. He was scheduled to return to WSU in the fall
Wichita State says their condolences go out to Abduljaleel’s family, friends and colleagues.
KSN also spoke with one of Abduljaleel’s engineering professors. She called her student a “gift from God.”
“He [Abduljaleel] had this beautiful faith. It was deep down, simple, childlike,” said Preethika Kumar, an associate professor for the Electrical Engineering and Computer Sciences Department at Wichita State. “I think he believed in being good to make God happy.”
Kumar also spoke about how Abduljaleel behaved in the classroom.
“Abduljaleel would sit right in front and Abduljaleel was always smiling,” said Kumar. “He had to take my final and he did the final and he came to me and said, ‘Dr. Kumar, thank you for everything, but I’m sorry, I don’t think I did so well because I’m too excited about getting married.'”
Abduljaleel had returned to Saudi Arabia to marry his fiance of two years.
“You suddenly realize it’s not about religions or countries, it’s about one human being helping another. It doesn’t matter where you’re from,” said Dr. Kumar.
Despite the tragedy, friends and family members say they are proud of their selfless friend.
“We will never forget him. He’s really a hero,” said Bujbara.
Wichita State’s Muslims Student Association is planning a candlelight vigil for Friday, June 5 at 5 p.m. outside the Rhatigan Student Center.
KSN News has learned Abduljaleel’s older brother, Mohammed, died Friday night from injuries he sustained in the terror attack.