BOSTON: The Islamic State has claimed the Minnesota mall attacker as “a soldier” for the terrorist group, while the FBI confirmed it is investigating the stabbings of nine people as a possible act of terrorism.
Authorities had not declared New York City’s Chelsea pressure-cooker bombing or a pipe-bomb blast in New Jersey to be terrorism — to the frustration of many residents. But after the mass killings by Islamic State-inspired terrorists in Orlando, Florida, and San Bernardino, California, as well as the major attacks in France and Belgium, it’s clear we are in the middle of an ongoing ISIS offensive, security experts say.
“At least for the foreseeable future, terrorism is here to stay,” said Bradley Schreiber, president of Homeland Security Solutions and a former senior adviser for the US Department of Homeland Security. “I think anyone could have told you, looking at what was occurring in Europe, that ISIS has made clear that they wanted the US to be the next stop, and it was just a matter of time before unfortunately another incident occurred.”
“Unfortunately with ISIS and their ‘Version 2.0’ of terrorism — where anyone claiming to be a surrogate of the terrorist organization is a member of the terrorist organization — you’re going to have people who are, for one reason or another, going to try to commit acts of terror,” he added, using the other acronym of the terror group.
In Saint Cloud, Minnesota, a man in a private security uniform stabbed nine people at a shopping mall, reportedly asking if they were Muslim, before an off-duty police officer shot and killed him.
None of the nine people who were stabbed in Saturday night’s attack received life-threatening wounds, Saint Cloud police Chief Blair Anderson said.
FBI Special Agent-in-Charge Rick Thornton said the attack was being investigated as a possible act of terrorism and that agents were still digging into the attacker’s background and possible motives.
An Islamic State-run news agency, Rasd, claimed the attacker as a “soldier of the Islamic State.” IS has encouraged so-called “lone wolf” attacks. It has also claimed past attacks that are not believed to have been planned by its central leadership.
Authorities didn’t identify the attacker, but the Star Tribune of Minneapolis said the man’s father identified him as Dahir Adan, 22. Ahmed Adan, whose family is Somali, said his son was born in Africa and had lived in the US for 15 years.