​American Malls Threatened in Chilling Video: What You Need to Know

Over the weekend, a video was released by a supposed terrorist group, encouraging Islamic extremists around the world to target shopping malls for their next attacks. Specifically mentioned were the Mall of America, in Bloomington, Minnisota; West Edmonton Mall in Canada; and Westfield mall in Stratford, England.

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The video is believed to be from Somali terrorist group al-Shabab, and included footage from the 2013 attack on the Westgate Mall in Nairobi. It called on Muslims to carry out their attacks quickly and independently. An English voice-over on the video said, "So hurry up, hasten towards heaven, and do not hesitate, for the disbelievers have no right whatsoever to rejoice in the safety of their lands until safety becomes a reality in Palestine and all the lands of Muslims."

Well that's enough to cause some alarm, isn't it?

Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson said Sunday that Americans must be vigilant in light of this terror threat. "If anyone is planning to go to the Mall of America today, they've got to be particularly careful," he said on CNN's "State of the Union." "There will be enhanced security there, but public vigilance, public awareness and public caution in situations like this is particularly important, and it's the environment we're in, frankly."

That being said, many other officials are hoping that citizens don't panic over this threatening video, claiming that there are already numerous security measures in place to protect the public.

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Jesse Tron, spokesman for the International Council of Shopping Centers said on Monday, "There won't be any mad dash or scramble to improve security because security is constantly evolving and improving ... Security officials are not reactionary because they have been doing this all along."

There may not be a mad dash, but that doesn't mean extra measures won't be put in place. The Mall of America issued a statement saying it had "implemented extra security precautions."

It's so easy to forget sometimes that there are people who exist in the world who want to kill Westerners just for the sake of killing us, and while this video threat is chilling, it is a good reminder to stay vigilant to the dangers of terrorism. We need to keep our military strong and continually strengthen our defenses.

No one knows yet if anyone will follow through on the command to attack shopping centers in America, but we can rest assured that security officials are doing all they can to keep us safe.

Does this change your immediate shopping plans?

 

Image via Aine/Flickr

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