According to Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson, people who shop at Mall of America need to be “particularly careful” after the Al-Shabaab terror group singled out the Minnesota mall for a terror attack.
Johnson made the claims during an interview on Sunday with State of the Union host Gloria Borger, where he warned shoppers who plan to visit the mall to be extra vigilant.
Johnson warned, in no uncertain terms, “If anyone is planning to go to the Mall of America today, they’ve got to be particularly careful. 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.”
DHS assistant secretary Tanya Bradsher played down the threat somewhat, telling reporters, “Secretary Johnson didn’t say that they should not go to the mall, he told shoppers to be extra vigilant and that security was increased.”
On top of that, an anonymous law enforcement official added, “No one should avoid going to the mall because of this random online threat. The FBI has a program to work with various malls around the country to improve security.”
The reason why Al-Shabaab are targeting a mall in Minneapolis is due to the fact it is home to the largest Somali population in the United States.
The fact that a U.S. air strike resulted in the death of the group’s leader back in 2014 means that Al-Shabaab is less than happy with the Obama administration and want revenge.
According to Johnson, the group is similar to al Qaeda and ISIS in that they compete for new recruits and target Western nationals.
“These groups are relying more and more on independent actors to become inspired, drawn to the cause… on their own, through their effective use of the Internet. That’s why it’s critical that we work in the communities where these folks might be able to recruit to develop a counter-narrative.”
The fact that Johnson made the comments means that there most likely is a serious security threat against the Mall of America, despite the fact that allegations have been played down by others in the security establishment.