Americans Warned of Mall Threat by Security Chief

Americans Warned of Mall Threat by Security ChiefAmericans Warned of Mall Threat by Security Chief

US Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson urged Americans to be vigilant following a terror threat to western shopping centers, including one of America’s largest malls.

He said he took the threat by the Somali-based group al-Shabab seriously. In a video, al-Shabab militants called for attacks on shopping malls in the US, Canada, France and Britain, France24 reported.

The al-Qaeda-linked group specifically threatened the Mall of America in the US state of Minnesota, Canada’s West Edmonton Mall, London’s famous Oxford Street shopping hub and two malls in France – Le Forum des Halles and Les Quatre Temps.

“I would say that if anyone is planning to go to the Mall of America today, they have got to be particularly careful,” Johnson said in a televised interview.

Another US administration official said, however, that there was “no indication of a specific, credible threat to the US.”

The Somalia-based group launched a 2013 siege on Nairobi’s Westgate mall that left more than 60 people dead.

Western nations are increasingly jittery about the threat of “lone wolf” attacks carried out by homegrown terrorists. But recent attacks in Paris, Copenhagen and Ottawa by homegrown militants have set security officials on edge, and prompted Washington to sponsor a security summit last week to discuss the threat.

Al-Shabab gunmen carried out a bloody siege on the Westgate mall in Nairobi in September 2013 that killed at least 67 people.

In a video distributed on Twitter Saturday, the group ran a documentary-style account of the Kenya attack. It was followed by the appearance of a masked fighter who suggested similar attacks could be carried out on malls in the West.