Terrorist Group Al-Shabaab Threatens to Attack Mall of America, 'Jewish-Owned Shopping Centers'

Mall of America
Visitors pose for a family photograph in front of an entrance to the Mall of America in Bloomington, Minnesota, July 2, 2013. |

Al-Shabaab, an African-based Islamic terrorist group linked to al-Qaeda, released a video on Saturday threatening to attack shopping centers in the West, including the Mall of America in Bloomington, Minnesota.

Based in Somalia and designated a foreign terrorist group by the U.S. government, al-Shabaab is believed to have behind the 2013 deadly attack on a Kenyan mall.

"If just a handful of mujahedeen fighters could bring Kenya to a complete standstill for nearly a week then imagine what a dedicated mujahedeen in the West could do to the American or Jewish-owned shopping centers across the world," said the anonymous terrorist on the video.

"What if such an attack were to occur in the Mall of America in Minnesota? Or the West Edmonton Mall in Canada? Or in London's Oxford Street?"

kenya mall
Civilians escape an area at the Westgate Shopping Centre in Nairobi September 21, 2013. Gunmen stormed the shopping mall in Nairobi on Saturday killing at least 20 people in what Kenya's government said could be a terrorist attack, and sending scores fleeing into shops, a cinema and onto the streets in search of safety. Sporadic gun shots could be heard hours after the assault started as soldiers surrounded the mall and police and soldiers combed the building, hunting down the attackers shop by shop. |

Also called Harakat al-Shabab al-Mujahideen, according to the Council on Foreign Relations al-Shabaab's hold on the Horn of Africa has been weakened by a military campaign led by the African Union.

"Still, security analysts warn that the group remains the principal threat in a politically volatile, war-torn state," noted CFR.

"Washington fears the group, which has successfully recruited members of the Somali-American diaspora, may orchestrate strikes on U.S. soil."

For their part, security at the Mall of America will be increased in response to the entertained threat by al-Shabaab.

"We will continue to monitor events with the help of federal, state and local law enforcement agencies," said Mall officials.

"Mall of America has implemented extra security precautions — some may be noticeable to guests, and others won't be."

However, Canadian police have stated that they believe there's "no imminent threat" to the West Edmonton Mall.

"This was a very general comment ... it wasn't a specific threat," said Brian Simpson, deputy chief of the Edmonton Police Service, at a press conference.

On Sunday, West Edmonton Mall released a statement wherein like Mall of America they have "implemented extra security precautions; some may be noticeable to guests, and others won't be."

Both North American malls are owned by the Ghermezian family, a Canadian family who have Iranian-Jewish origins.

The video comes after the White House recently concluded a Summit on Violent Extremism.

" Violent extremist threats can come from a range of groups and individuals, including domestic terrorists and homegrown violent extremists in the United States, as well as terrorist groups like al-Qaeda and ISIL," read a White House fact sheet.

"[The Summit's agenda] encompasses the preventative aspects of counterterrorism as well as interventions to undermine the attraction of extremist movements and ideologies that seek to promote violence."

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