A video released by a terror group belonging to Somalia urged Muslims to attack shopping malls in the U.S., Canada, Britain and other Western countries. The video released on Saturday night seems to come from Al Qaeda-linked rebels from a civil war ravaged Somalia. The Al Shabaab group which had also taken responsibility for the last week twin suicide bombings in the capital city is seen bragging about it being involved September 2013 attack on the Westgate Mall which killed 67 people Nairobi, Kenya.
The video, which goes on for 76 minutes, shows a masked narrator, warning of more attacks in Kenya and calls for further assaults on shopping malls, specifically listing the Mall of America in Minnesota, the West Edmonton Mall in Canada and the Westfield Mall in Stratford, England.
“If just a handful of mujahedeen fighters could bring Kenya to a complete standstill for nearly a week, imagine what a dedicated mujahedeen in the West could do to the American or Jewish-owned shopping centers across the world,” the unidentified narrator says.
After being singled out as one of the targets of a possible attack, security at the Mall of America, which is one of the biggest shopping areas in the world, has been put at an all time high. Housing more than 500 stores and 50 restaurants, the mall attracts more than 40 million visitors every year.
Following the terror threat, Secretary Jeh Johnson was seen on various news shows and making several other public appearances to reassure the people that while he was not instructing people to avoid the mall, but that they should exercise due caution.
“Anytime a terrorist organization calls for an attack on a specific place, we’ve got to take that seriously,” he said on CNN’s “State of the Union.”
“The public needs to be particularly vigilant,” Secretary Jeh Johnson said on NBC’s Meet the Press. “We’re in a new phase of global terrorist threat right now which involves core Al Qaeda, but now other groups, the ISIL group being the most prominent example of that.”
The Kenyan government has however dismissed the video, as propaganda which cannot be legitimized.