Officials said the man, whom his father has identified as 22-year-old Dahir Adan, was dressed as a security guard when he stabbed people Saturday. He said he had “no suspicion” that his son had been involved in terrorist activity, the newspaper reported.
The attacker was identified by his own father as 22-year-old Dahir Adan, a Somali-American college student who came to the U.S. fifteen years ago and was a student at St. Cloud Technical and Community College.
Following the Saturday stabbings, Lul Hersi stood outside the Crossroads Mall, waiting to find out if her son was among the victims of the man an ISIS-linked news agency praised as a “soldier of the Islamic state”.
The motive for Saturday’s attack at a St. Cloud mall is still unclear, but FBI Special Agent-in-Charge Rick Thornton said Sunday the stabbings were being investigated as a “potential act of terrorism”.
Media captionHow are American Muslims feeling ahead of the vote? Of the nine victims – seven men, a woman and a 15-year-old girl – three remained hospitalized, officials said.
The off-duty officer who shot the assailant said the man asked at least one of the victims if they were Muslim before stabbing them. While he confirmed the attacker as Somali, the Minneapolis StarTribune quoted him as saying, authorities have not confirmed the attacker’s ethnicity. Ahmed Adan, whose family is Somali, said his son was born in Africa and had lived in the US for 15 years.
Washington-An ISIS supporter carried out the stabbing attack that wounded at least eight people at a mall in the US state of Minnesota on Saturday, the news agency Amaq, which is affiliated to the militant group, said.
Minnesota is home to the country’s largest population of Somalis at roughly 40,000 according to U.S. Census data, though activists in its community say there are more.
“We are also concerned about the potential backlash”, said Jaylani Hussein, executive director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations chapter in Minnesota.
Authorities have executed at least two search warrants at an address in St. Cloud, Anderson said at the press conference Sunday, and the suspect’s vehicle was found in the mall’s parking lot and impounded.
The community has been a target for terror recruiters in recent years. More than 20 young men have left the state since 2007 to join al-Shabab in Somalia; the USA considers the eastern Africa militant group a terrorist group. Sydney Weires, 18, and two of her friends were shopping when the stabbings happened.
The mall was put on a lockdown following the attack and would be closed until further notice. He said that it was no longer necessary to join the group in Iraq and Syria, and that instead, aspiring jihadis should use whatever means they had to kill. The rampage ended when the man was fatally shot by an off-duty police officer.
Anderson also told reporters that the suspect was previously known to the police – he said local police had had contact three times with the suspect, and those consisted of “nothing more serious than traffic violations”.
Police said when the suspect lunged at Falconer with a knife, he fired his gun until Adan did not get back up.
“I saw this security guard sprinting down the hallway toward Target”, Weirs told the paper.
“He was screaming at us, ‘get the F out!’” she said about one of the men, according to the paper. His profile says he focuses on firearms and permit-to-carry training, and also teaches “decision shooting” to law enforcement students at St. Cloud State University.
Falconer told the Minneapolis Star Tribune that he’s “been trying to stay away from it all, for the time being”.