Minnesota Man Goes On Stabbing Spree Inside Mall, ‘References To Allah” Made During Attack; UPDATE: ISIS Claims Responsibility

Posted: Sep 18, 2016 11:00 AM
Minnesota Man Goes On Stabbing Spree Inside Mall, ‘References To Allah” Made During Attack; UPDATE: ISIS Claims Responsibility

On Saturday night, a man dressed in a private security uniform at the Crossroads Center in St. Cloud, Minnesota went on a stabbing spree inside the mall, which injured eight people. According to the St. Cloud Times, all eight were sent to the hospital, five were discharged, and three remain hospitalized with non-life threatening wounds. The suspect was killed during the attack by an off-duty police officer in the vicinity, but this publication, The Hill, ABC News and KSTP—a Minneapolis-St. Paul ABC-based affiliate, all report that the attacker made “references to Allah” during the assault, though authorities aren’t calling this an act of terrorism at this time (via St. Cloud Times):

Eight people were injured and the suspect died at Crossroads Center on Saturday after an attack reported about 8:15 p.m.

St. Cloud Police Chief Blair Anderson said the victims were stabbed by a man dressed in a private security uniform.

An off-duty police officer from another jurisdiction shot and killed the attacker, Anderson said. Anderson did not say where that officer serves during the news conference that started after midnight.

According to St. Cloud Mayor Dave Kleis, the shooting happened inside Macy's.

Eight patients were taken to St. Cloud Hospital. On Sunday morning, hospital Communications Specialist Chris Nelson told the Times that five were released, and three were admitted with injuries that were not life-threatening.

Anderson said the attacker, who was armed with a knife, reportedly made references to Allah during the attack and asked at least one person whether they were Muslim. But Anderson pointedly declined to call the attacks an act of terrorism, saying the motive isn't yet known.

In New York City, an explosion rocked the Chelsea neighborhood, which appears to have not been an accident, with a second device, a pressure cooker, being found near the initial blast zone. In Seaside Park, New Jersey, a pipe bomb explosion in a trash can near the race route for a Marine Corps charity run was forced that event to be cancelled and placed the city on lock down while local law enforcement secured and swept the area for more possible devices. They eventually found another device. Now, the FBI is taking over the investigation. They too said it was too early to say whether this was an act of terrorism. Two explosions and a mass stabbing this good weekend, not good news, though blessedly no fatalities occurred during these events. Wishing the injured a speedy recovery.

UPDATE: CBS News says ISIS has claimed responsibility for the attack:

An ISIS-run news agency claims the man who stabbed and wounded eight people at a mall in Minnesota before being shot dead by an off-duty police officer was a “soldier of the Islamic State.”

The ISIS-run Rasd news agency reported the claim on Sunday, saying the attacker had heeded calls from the extremist group for attacks in countries that are part of a U.S.-led anti-ISIS coalition.

It was not immediately clear if the extremist group had planned the attack or even knew about it beforehand. ISIS 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.