Feds prob­ing stab­bings as pos­si­ble ter­ror

ISIS-linked agency calls Minn. at­tacker a ‘sol­dier’ for group

Baltimore Sun - - NATION & WORLD - By Kris­tine Guerra

Au­thor­i­ties are in­ves­ti­gat­ing the stab­bings of nine peo­ple in­side a Min­nesota mall Satur­day night as a “po­ten­tial” act of ter­ror­ism af­ter an Is­lamic Statelinked news agency claimed that the armed at­tacker was “a sol­dier of the Is­lamic State.”

The at­tack oc­curred in­side the Cross­roads Cen­ter mall in St. Cloud, about 70 miles north­west of Min­neapo­lis.

It ended in­side a Macy’s store, where an off-duty po­lice of­fi­cer shot and killed the sus­pect.

St. Cloud Mayor Dave Kleis said the at­tacker lunged at Ja­son Fal­coner, a part-time po­lice of­fi­cer in Avon, west of St. Cloud. Fal­coner then fired shots at the sus­pect, who fell but got up three times be­fore he died.

“He clearly pre­vented ad­di­tional in­juries and po­ten­tial loss of life,” Kleis said Sun­day. “His heroic ac­tions are ex­em­plary.”

Au­thor­i­ties didn’t iden­tify the at­tacker, but the Star Tri­bune of Min­neapo­lis said the at­tacker’s father iden­ti­fied him as Dahir A. Adan, 22.

Speak­ing to the news­pa­per through an in­ter­preter, Ahmed Adan, whose fam­ily is So­mali, said his son was born in Africa and had lived in the U.S. for 15 years. He said po­lice raided the fam­ily’s apart­ment, seiz­ing pho­tos and other ma­te­ri­als. He said that po­lice said noth­ing to him about the mall at­tack and that he had “no sus­pi­cion” that his son had been in­volved in ter­ror­ist ac­tiv­ity, the news­pa­per re­ported.

St. Cloud po­lice Chief Blair An­der­son said po­lice had three pre­vi­ous en­coun­ters with the at­tacker, mostly for traf­fic vi­o­la­tions.

An­der­son said the at­tacker, dressed in a se­cu­rity uni­form and wield­ing what ap­peared to be a kitchen knife, be­gan at­tack­ing peo­ple right af­ter en­ter­ing the By­standers in St. Cloud, Minn., wait Satur­day night near the en­trance of the Cross­roads Cen­ter mall as au­thor­i­ties in­ves­ti­gate an in­ci­dent in which nine peo­ple were stabbed. mall, stab­bing peo­ple in cor­ri­dors, busi­nesses and com­mon ar­eas.

Fal­coner, who was shop­ping when he con­fronted the at­tacker, is the for­mer po­lice chief of Al­bany, which is 15 miles north­west of St. Cloud. He is also the pres­i­dent and owner of a fir­ing range and firearms train­ing fa­cil­ity, ac­cord­ing to his LinkedIn pro­file.

The at­tacker made at least one ref­er­ence to Al­lah and asked at least one per­son whether he or she was Mus­lim be­fore at­tack­ing him or her, ac­cord­ing to the St. Cloud Po­lice Depart­ment.

In a state­ment Sun­day, Aa­maq news agency said the sus­pect “car­ried out the op­er­a­tion in re­sponse to calls to tar­get cit­i­zens of coun­tries be­long­ing to the cru­sader coali­tion.”

Richard Thorn­ton, FBI spe­cial agent in Min­neapo­lis, said dur­ing a news con­fer­ence that the at­tack is be­ing in­ves­ti­gated as a “po­ten­tial” act of ter­ror­ism, but the sus­pect’s mo­tive re­mains un­known.

Of­fi­cials said there was no in­di­ca­tion that the sus­pect had di­rect com­mu­ni­ca­tions with the Is­lamic State or that the ter­ror­ist group had planned the at- tack or knew of it be­fore­hand.

“ISIS has en­cour­aged lone wolf at­tacks. It has also claimed past at­tacks that are not be­lieved to have been planned by its cen­tral lead­er­ship,” said a po­lice depart­ment news re­lease, us­ing an acro­nym for the Is­lamic State.

The mall re­mained closed Sun­day.

Of the nine vic­tims — seven men, a woman and a 15-year-old girl — three re­mained hos­pi­tal­ized, au­thor­i­ties said.

An­der­son, St. Cloud’s po­lice chief, said in­ves­ti­ga­tors found the sus­pect’s ve­hi­cle

DAVE SCHWARZ/ST. CLOUD (MINN.) TIMES

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