Jeh Johnson, the US Homeland Security Secretary, has urged people to be vigilant following a terror threat from an al-Qaeda affiliated group threatening to target Western shopping centres, including one of America’s largest malls.
In a video released on Saturday, the al-Shabab terrorist group in Somalia threatened to attack the Mall of America in Minnesota as well as the West Edmonton Mall in Alberta, Canada, and London’s Oxford Street.
Press TV report: The 66-minute video released on Twitter starts focusing on the September 2013 attack on the Westgate shopping mall in Nairobi, Kenya.
The attack on the upscale shopping mall, which turned into a four-day siege, left more than 60 people dead.
The end of the video shows a masked gunman saying the same handful of terrorists who brought “Kenya to a complete standstill” could do the same “in the West to American or Jewish shopping centers across the world.”
“What if such an attack were to occur in the Mall of America in Minnesota? Or the West Edmonton Mall in Canada? Or in London’s Oxford Street?”
The video prompted the malls in the US and Canada to consider serious security measures.
“We take any potential threat seriously and respond appropriately,” the Minnesota mall said in a statement Saturday night.
Both malls stated that they have “implemented extra security” precautions with the Minnesota mall saying “some may be noticeable to guests and others won’t be.”
Minnesota is home to the largest Somali population in the US from which many young men have joined the al-Qaeda group. Al-Shabab has also recruited young people from Canada, Finland and the UK.
Somalia has been the scene of clashes between government forces and al-Shabab militants since 2006.
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