In a new video posted online, the Somali terror group Al Shabaab called for terror attacks on three major malls- one of which is the Mall of America in Bloomington, Minnesota. The other two were the West Edmonton Mall in Canada, and the Oxford Street shopping area in London.
This is the first time that Al-Shabaab has made a direct threat against the West.They are the same terrorist group that claimed responsibility for the West Gate Mall attack in Nairobi, Kenya in September of 2013. 67 people were murdered in that attack.
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The Mall of America issued a statement that said in part,
“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.” Mall of America
The Somali population
Minnesota has the largest population of Somalis in the United States. Some members of that community have gone overseas to join ISIS and other Islamic terror groups. DHS Director Jeh Johnson called it a “new phase” in terms of the global terrorist threat.
“Groups like ISIL, al-Shabaab, AQAP (al Qaeda of the Arabian Peninsula) are now publicly calling for attacks either through the internet, through videos, through publications, which means that we need to respond militarily but we also have to have a whole government approach through law enforcement, homeland security and frankly countering violent extremism efforts here in the homeland in communities. We’re in a new phase now and I’m afraid that this most recent video release reflects that.” Jeh Johnson
Al Shabaab claimed responsibility for an attack on a hotel in Mogadishu on Friday that left 25 dead and 40 injured… among them Mogadishu’s Deputy Mayor and two legislators. The Islamists rammed a truck containing explosives into the gate of the hotel, and another -a suicide bomber- blew himself up.
Al-Shabaab is considered Al-Qaeda linked and continues to pose a threat to the country of Somalia. They are now calling for attacks in the United States, UK, and Canada. And because there are large populations of Somalis in these three nations, the danger of terrorist activity exists.
Is it a “new phase” as Mr. Johnson claims? Or is the enemy coalescing into a united front against the West, thanks to the our leadership’s lack of action? Or perhaps all the different terror factions are competing with one another for prominence. As long as we have members of terrorist groups living in our communities and infiltrating the government in America, this will pose a direct threat to our Homeland Security.