Jihad at the shopping mall: Al-Shabaab, the Somali based Islamic terrorist group, is calling on Muslim men “to answer the call of Allah and target disbelievers wherever they are,” in an ominous new propaganda video advocating for terror attacks against shopping malls in the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom.
Al-Shabaab is the Somali based Islamic terrorist group responsible for the 2013 deadly siege at the upscale Westgate shopping mall in Nairobi, Kenya, in which more than 60 people died.
In a propaganda video released this weekend, the group calls on Muslim men to attack shopping malls in Canada, the UK and the US, specifically naming the Mall of America in Minnesota, the West Edmonton Mall in Canada, and London’s Oxford Street in the UK.
According to The Guardian, the video features a black man in a military style jacket with his face covered by a headscarf, urging followers to carry out attacks on “American and Jewish-owned” shopping malls, while speaking with a strong British accent.
The following is an excerpt from those remarks:
We call upon our Muslim brothers, particularly those in the West, to answer the call of Allah and target disbelievers wherever they are.
If just a handful of mujahedeen fighters can bring Kenya to a complete standstill for nearly a week, imagine what a dedicate mujahed in the West could do to American or Jewish owned shopping centres across the world?
What if such an attack on the Mall of America in Minnesota or the West Edmonton mall in Canada or in London’s Oxford Street. Or any of the hundred or so of the Jewish owned Westfield shopping centres.
Take the Westfield shopping centre in Stratford or White City for example, what would be the implications of such an attack, one can only imagine.
All it takes is a man with firm determination, of which our Muslim ummah (community) has plenty of.
The narrator with a British accent concludes by urging his fellow Muslims to commit terror so as to be rewarded in heaven:
So hurry up and hasten to Heaven and do not hesitate.
Speaking with CNN on Sunday, Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson sent out a mixed message concerning the alarming threats, at once both warning Americans about the potential danger, saying “If anyone is planning to go to the Mall of America today, they’ve got to be particularly careful;” while also saying that there’s “no credible or specific evidence” suggesting a U.S. mall attack is in the works.
Johnson said the threats are being taken seriously:
Anytime a terrorist organisation calls for an attack on a specific place, we’ve got to take that seriously. I would say that if anyone is planning to go to the Mall of America today, they’ve got to be particularly careful.
This latest statement from al Shabaab reflects the new phase we’ve evolved to in the global terrorist threat, in that you have groups such as al Shabaab and ISIL publicly calling for independent actors in their homelands to carry out attacks.
In a statement a spokeswoman for the Mall of America confirmed officials are aware of the video and had implemented extra security measures as a precaution:
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.
USA Today reports the Mall of America is one of the largest shopping malls in the world, employing more than 12,000 people at more than 500 stores and 50 restaurants. It is the world’s busiest mall, bringing in more than 40 million visitors annually.