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Mall of America: Lockdown drills already scheduled, not a response to terror threat


Call it a coincidence. Just a couple of days after the Mall of America was named a "target" by the Al-Shabab terrorist group, the megamall staged lockdown drills that it now says were going to happen anyway.

Mall officials say anti-terror drills have been held monthly since the 2013 Westgate Mall attack in Kenya (which was perpetrated by members of the aforementioned Al-Shabab) and are scheduled in advance, KARE 11 reports.

The station quoted a security officer as saying the drill was "business as usual."

FOX 9 says the exercises take place five minutes after opening and five minutes after closing on the days they're scheduled. They have involved Twin Cities SWAT teams and police agencies.

Shoppers unfazed by threat

Despite a warning to shoppers from Homeland Security Department Chief Jeh Johnson to be "particularly careful," visitors showed up to the Bloomington mall in droves Sunday.

The Star Tribune reports the mall was crowded with shoppers, and full of the usual scenes one might expect on a normal shopping weekend, including shoppers jockeying for parking spots. According to the paper, mall clerks reported it was a pretty typical Sunday.

A few were shaken, however. According to KSTP, the Orono School District has called off a sixth grade physics field trip to the mall, which was scheduled for tomorrow.

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