Officials at Minnesota’s Mall of America are on high alert after terror group released a threatening video Saturday.
Security at the mall has been increased after the Islamic terrorist group al-Shabaab’s video specifically named the Mall of America, along with the West Edmonton Mall in Alberta and London’s Oxford Street, as potential targets, twincities.com reported.
The threat is particularly chilling because Minnesota is home to the nation’s largest Somali population and has for years seen young men leaving the state to join terrorist groups in North Africa, according to USA Today.
Recently, several young Minnesota men have been arrested on charges that they tried to join the Islamic State, and authorities believe dozens might already be fighting with Islamic State and other terrorist groups.
So what that means is a terrorism threat against the Mall of America could be a homecoming of sorts for young Americans who have decided to become Islamist savages.
“The ISIS territory in Syria and Iraq is now said by both European and American authorities to hold as many as 2,000 to 4,000 people with valid European or American passports,” said John Bolton, former American ambassador to the United Nations. “That means that if they entered into Turkey and then slipped across the border, they can go back to their home country without question. They wouldn’t be on any red flag list or watch list, and they could get into the United States, so I think we’re just blinking at reality if we don’t acknowledge how serious this is.”
Mall officials said Sunday they are aware of the threat.
“We will continue to monitor events with the help of federal, state and local law enforcement agencies,” they said in a statement, according to twincities.com. “As always, we take any potential threat seriously and respond appropriately. Mall of America has implemented extra security precautions, some may be noticeable to guests, and others won’t be.”
The al-Shabaab terror group was responsible for the 2013 Westgate Mall siege in Nairobi, Kenya, where more than 60 were killed.
At the end of the video, a masked man gave an ominous warning.
“If just a handful of mujahedeen fighters could bring Kenya to a complete standstill for nearly a week, then imagine what a dedicated mujahedeen in the West could do to the American or Jewish-owned shopping centers across the world,” the man said, according to twincities.com. “What if such an attack were to occur in the Mall of America in Minnesota? Or the West Edmonton Mall in Canada? Or in London’s Oxford Street? What would be the implications of such an attack? One could only imagine. And all it takes is a man with firm determination. So hurry up, hasten towards heaven, and do not hesitate.”
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