Monday, 19 September 2016

ISIS news agency claims Minnesota mall attacker was an ISIS member

The ISL-affiliated news agency Amaq says one of the group’s followers carried out the stabbing attack that wounded at least eight people at a shopping mall in the US state of Minnesota on Saturday. 
  "The executor of the stabbing attacks in Minnesota yesterday was a soldier of Islamic State and carried out the operation in response to calls to target the citizens of the countries belonging to the crusader coalition", Amaq said in a statement.

The authorities say a man wearing a private security uniform and armed with at least one knife stabbed eight people at a St. Cloud mall before he was shot dead by an off-duty police officer. All eight victims from the attack were treated at a hospital for wounds that weren't life-threatening and all but one were later released.

The attacker has been identified as as a 22-year-old college student. The man's father identified as Dahir Adan, who is a Somali, says in an interview with the Star Tribune that his son came to the U.S. 15 years ago and was a student at St. Cloud Technical and Community College. He said he had "no suspicion" that his son might have been involved in terrorist activity.

Leader of the Somali community in central Minnesota have condemned the attack. They held a news conference on Sunday and said the suspect does not represent the larger Somali community.

Authorities haven't publicly identified the attacker. FBI Special Agent-in-Charge Rick Thornton said on Sunday that authorities are still digging into the suspect's background to determine his possible motivation.

St. Cloud's mayor and police chief praised the swift actions of the off-duty Avon police officer for shooting and killing the attacker. The part-time officer identified as Officer Jason Falconer is being hailed as a hero. He told Minneapolis Star Tribune that he's "been trying to stay away from it all, for the time being" Falconer said he wasn't hurt and declined to talk further, citing the ongoing investigation.

Source: Minneapolis Star Tribune/SITE Intel Group

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