At Crossroads Mall in St. Cloud, the suspect – who was shot dead by an off-duty officer, ending the attack –referred to “Allah” during the spree, police said. And afterward, the Islamic State militant group suggested he was a “soldier” for them.
The FBI has said it’s being treated as a “potential act of terrorism,” but noted it’s not clear whether the suspect had actual ties to the Islamic State group.
One of the most significant issues the next president of the United States will have to deal with is Islamic extremism, and the possibility of Islamic State-inspired lone-wolf attacks on U.S. soil.
Both Hillary Clinton (Democrat) and Donald Trump (Republican) have commented on the St. Cloud attack. We’ll look at each response, starting alphabetically with Clinton.
Hillary Clinton’s response
Clinton, the Democratic nominee for president, issued a statement Sunday afternoon saying she condemns the “apparent terrorist attacks” in Minnesota and New York.
She also thanked law enforcement who responded, and specifically speaking to St. Cloud, said the Islamic State trying to claim some responsibility should “steel our resolve” to defeat the group and protect America. Here’s the full statement, which veers into a campaign argument for herself as well.
On Monday morning she touted her experience, saying she’s the only candidate “who’s been part of the hard decisions to take terrorists off the battlefield.” She also tweeted out a link to a page on her website, which includes a 3-step plan to combating terrorism.
Clinton, speaking Monday morning, also said she spoke with Dayton and New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, according to a tweet from Politico reporter Gabriel Debenedetti. A spokesperson for the governor’s office said the call took place Sunday evening.
Donald Trump’s response
Trump, thee Republican presidential nominee, took to Twitter to offer his condolences Sunday morning to the victims of the New York bombing. About 12 hours later, he commented on both that explosion and the Minnesota stabbing.
Trump then pivoted to indicating the attack shows a weakness of President Barack Obama and his former Secretary of State, Clinton.
Through Trump’s website, spokesperson Jason Miller issued a statement saying the Clinton-backed White House has minimized the threat from the Islamic State, calling both the St. Cloud and New York City incidents “apparent terror attacks.”
A spokesperson for Dayton’s office said the governor has not spoken with Trump, and there hasn’t been any communication with the campaign.
Terror attacks in the U.S.
The Washington D.C. think tank New America Foundation keeps a database of deadly attacks in the U.S. since 9/11, and breaks out “violent Jihadist attacks.” From 2002 through 2016, 94 people have been killed on U.S. soil in such incidents – more than half of them at the Pulse night club in Orlando.