Mall of America heightens security after Al-Shabab threat

WASHINGTON (KTRK) -- A video claiming to be released by the Somali militant group Al-Shabaab, which is affiliated with Al-Qaeda, has called for attacks on malls including the Mall of America in Bloomington, Minnesota.

The video was released on Saturday and shortly after the Mall of America released a statement saying it had increased security due to the threats, ABC News reports.

The Department of Homeland Security and the FBI issued a joint statement saying they are aware of the threats on malls in America and are working with mall owners and operators to prevent the threats.

"Groups like ISIL (ISIS), al-Shabab, AQAP (al Qaeda of the Arabian Peninsula) are now publicly calling for attacks either through the internet, through videos, through publications, which means that we need to respond militarily but we also have to have a whole government approach through law enforcement, homeland security and frankly countering violent extremism efforts here in the homeland in communities," said DHS Secretary Jeh Johnson.

Al-Shabaab took credit for the 2013 mall attack in Kenya that killed 67 people.

"Al-Shabab has no known operational capacity in the U.S., and we haven't seen the group develop the ability to carry out a complex attack here. But this type of threat can't be discounted, and the FBI and local police departments will have to take appropriate steps in response," said Matt Olsen the former director of the National Counterterrorism Center and current ABC News consultant.
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