Officials: No credible terrorist threat, but vigilance urged at Mall of America


If you visit the Mall of America to shop, eat, go on amusement park rides or catch a movie, you will likely note more uniformed officers on duty than usual.

MPR News news reports that the Bloomington Police Department issued a statement late Sunday, in partnership with the FBI and state law enforcement, saying additional security measures had been put in place at the nation's largest shopping mall.

Authorities added there is "no credible threat" after the release of a 77-minute video purportedly made by Somalia-based terror group al-Shabab that warns of an attack on western shopping malls. The video specifically mentions the Bloomington center.

Gov. Mark Dayton's press secretary Matt Swenson said Sunday he governor had been in regular contact with state Public Safety Commissioner Mona Dohman.

Mallgoers keep shopping

A reporter from the Star Tribune sampled thoughts from shoppers at the mall. The story noted there seemed to be a typical number of cars coming into the parking ramp, and "the mall’s four levels were crowded with shoppers." Store clerks said the number of shoppers seemed in line with the usual Sunday crowd.

"I'm more afraid of the cold today than any terrorists," shopper Mary Lamminen of St. Paul told KSTP.

David Modrynski told the station his family debated whether to visit the mall after hearing about the video. "But we can't stop living our lives because somebody says they're going to do something," he said.

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Klobuchar: Focus is on how to protect the mall

Speaking on several Sunday network news programs, U.S. secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson urged caution.

“If anyone is planning to go to the Mall of America today, they’ve got to be particularly careful,” Johnson said in a televised interview with CNN. “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.”

Speaking on WCCO, U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar expressed confidence in federal, state and local law enforcement officials. Klobuchar said she spoke with Johnson and U.S. Attorney Andrew Luger — and "everyone is focused on how to best protect the mall."

The threat is getting international media play. The U.K.'s SkyNews carried a story about the threat.

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