ISIS claim that the man who stabbed eight people in a Minnesota shopping mall on Saturday was one of its “soldiers”
A statement published by the groups Amaq news agency said: “The executor of the stabbing attacks in Minnesota yesterday was a soldier of the Islamic State and carried out the operation in response to calls to target the citizens of countries belonging to the crusader coalition”
They did not specify if the unnamed suspect, who was shot dead, was in direct contact with the terrorist group.
A man dressed in a private security guard uniform stabbed eight people in the Crossroads Center Mall in St. Cloud, a city 100km northwest of Minneapolis-St. Paul. He was then killed by an off-duty policeman from another jurisdiction. None of the victims sustained life-threatening wounds, and all but one have been discharged from the hospital.
Eyewitnesses reported that the man asked at least one person if they were a Muslim during the rampage, while others said that his words referenced Allah. Police, who have chosen not to reveal the identity of the perpetrator until further investigation, said he had previously accumulated three minor charges, none of them linked with terrorism.
Islamic State has repeatedly called for its supporters to stage terrorist attacks in the West, and has often praised their executors as their “soldiers” in public statements.