Mall of America Heightens Security after Al-Shabab Threat

Mall of America Heightens Security after Al-Shabab Threat

A video posted online called for attacks against the mall

The Mall of America has heightened its security efforts after a video claiming to be posted online by a Somali group affiliated with al Queda called for attacks against the mall, according to a report.

The Mall of America released a statement saying it had increased security in light of the video. The group responsible for the video claims to be al-Shabab, which took credit for the deadly attack at a Kenyan mall that killed 67 civilians in 2013.

"Groups like ISIL [ISIS], al-Shabab, 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," Department of Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson said on ABC's "This Week." "We’re in a new phase now and I’m afraid that this most recent video release reflects that."

The Department of Homeland Security and FBI issued a joint statement Sunday, saying the agencies were aware of the "reported call from al-Shabab for 'Westgate style' attacks against shopping centers around the world, to include in the United States."

"In recent months, the FBI and DHS have worked closely with our state and local public safety counterparts and members of the private sector, to include mall owners and operators, to prevent and mitigate these types of threats," the statement continued.

About the Author

Matt Holden is an Associate Content Editor for 1105 Media, Inc. He received his MFA and BA in journalism from Ball State University in Muncie, Indiana. He currently writes and edits for Occupational Health & Safety magazine, and Security Today.

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