Homeland Security head expands warning about terrorist threat at Mall of America

Author:
Updated:
Original:

The Somali terror group al-Shabaab released a video online Saturday that appears to call for an attack on the Mall of America in Bloomington, Minn., representing the most specific threat ever issued against the Minnesota landmark.

CBS News reports the video specifically named the MOA, the West Edmonton Mall in Alberta, Canada, and the Oxford Street shopping area in London.

Speaking on CNN's "State of the Union" program on Sunday morning, Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson offered little reassurance to shoppers planning a visit to the Mall of America.

"If anyone is planning to go to the Mall of America today, they've got to be particularly careful," Johnson said in an interview. "There will be enhanced security there, but public vigilance, public awareness and public caution in situations like this is particularly important, and it's the environment we're in, frankly."

Shortly after his comments, Minnesota's U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar appeared on WCCO to emphasize that Johnson did not mean that people should avoid going to the Mall of America.

"People always need to be vigilant, but they should feel comfortable going to the mall," Klobuchar said, adding that law enforcement on the local, state and national levels "have always been diligent and know that they have to protect that mall."

Al-Shabaab has heavily targeted the Minneapolis area, home to the largest Somali population in the United States, for recruiting. In the video released Saturday, the group discussed its 2013 attack on a mall in Kenya, which left more than 60 people dead, according to WCCO.

"What if such an attack were to occur at the Mall of America in Minnesota?” the narrator says, according to FOX 9.

On Friday, al-Shabaab also claimed responsibility for suicide attacks at a hotel in Somalia's capital, Mogadishu, that left 25 people dead and 40 wounded, according to CBS News.

Mall of America released a statement in response to the threats, according to FOX 9.

"We will continue to monitor events with the help of federal, state and local law enforcement agencies. 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. We will continue to follow the situation, along with law enforcement, and will remain vigilant as we always do in similar situations. The safety and security of our guests, employees and tenants remains our top priority."

Al-Shabaab is a familiar name in Minnesota. In the past several years it's recruited some two dozen young Somali men who live in the state to fight with the terrorists in Somalia. And in recent months, several Minnesota teens have been arrested for alleged connections with the terror group ISIS.

Next Up

Screen Shot 2020-11-30 at 7.41.02 AM

Human remains found at Albert Lea building where 3 people where shot

Authorities say the human remains are not related to the shooting.

DirecTV

DirecTV subscribers could lose KARE 11 on Tuesday

A new contract needs to be agreed upon by 6 p.m. Tuesday.

prison, Rush City cell block

Inmate from Rush City prison dies after COVID-19 diagnosis

The man is the fifth incarcerated person in Minnesota to die from COVID-19.

ambulance

Belle Plaine man dies after duck boat capsizes on lake

One man was found sitting on the overturned boat while another man was in the water.

Screen Shot 2020-11-29 at 4.59.51 PM

Watch: Adam Thielen watches end of Vikings/Panthers just like all of us

The Vikings receiver looked like a true fan on Sunday afternoon.

Chad Beebe

Chad Beebe's roller-coaster fourth-quarter keeps Vikings playoff hopes alive

A muffed punt and a game-winning touchdown helped defeat the Panthers on Sunday afternoon.

127266986_2766399800267634_3587849554502438415_n

West-central MN cops warn kids to stay off ice, or 'Santa won't come'

This comes amid repeated ice warnings across the state.

covid-19, coronavirus, PPE

Nov. 29 COVID-19 update: 57 deaths, nearly 9,000 more cases

Nearly 100,000 tests were included in Sunday's report.

jim ramstad

Watch former Rep. Jim Ramstad's memorial service online

The ceremony will be live-streamed for the public on Sunday.

EDL1LeKXsAEeH32

How high can Rashod Bateman go in the 2021 NFL Draft?

The Gophers star receiver has plenty of praise heading into next April.

TCF Bank Stadium

15 more from Gopher football team test positive for COVID-19

That brings the total number of cases from this outbreak to 40.

Related