Vic­tim: Mall at­tacker emo­tion­less; lead­ers urge ‘rise above’

Daily Local News (West Chester, PA) - - OBITUARIES -

ST. CLOUD, MINN. >> One of the vic­tims wounded in a stab­bing at a cen­tral Min­nesota mall says the man who car­ried out the at­tack showed no emo­tion and his eyes looked blank.

Ryan Sch­liep, one of 10 peo­ple who suf­fered wounds that were not life-threat­en­ing be­fore the at­tacker was fa­tally shot, told WCCO-TV that the man “just walked right at me” be­fore striking quickly and pen­e­trat­ing the skin of his scalp.

“He looked just blank in the eyes like he wasn’t even there,” Sch­liep said shortly be­fore be­ing re­leased from a St. Cloud hos­pi­tal.

Author­i­ties are treat­ing Satur­day’s stab­bings at Cross­roads Cen­ter Mall as a pos­si­ble act of ter­ror­ism, in part be­cause an Is­lamic State-run news agency claimed that the at­tacker was a “sol­dier of the Is­lamic State” who had heeded the group’s calls for at­tacks in coun­tries that are part of a U.S.-led anti IS coali­tion.

But it wasn’t im­me­di­ately known whether the ex­trem­ist group had planned the at­tack or knew about it be­fore­hand. St. Cloud Po­lice Chief Blair An­der­son said Monday the at­tack ap­peared to be the work of a sin­gle in­di­vid­ual and there was no sign that the at­tacker, iden­ti­fied by his fa­ther as 20-year-old Dahir Adan, was rad­i­cal­ized or com­mu­ni­cated with any ter­ror­ist group.

Pres­i­dent Barack Obama said the stab­bings had no ap­par­ent con­nec­tion to week­end bomb­ings in New York and New Jersey.

Be­cause Adan was So­mali, lead­ers of the state’s large So­mali com­mu­nity ac­knowl­edged the prospect of a “long win­ter” for their peo­ple after the stab­bings, but warned not to quickly ac­cept the ter­ror­ism con­nec­tion.

“We can­not give ISIS and other ter­ror­ist or­ga­ni­za­tions more air time and pro­pa­ganda with­out real facts,” said Jay­lani Hus­sein, ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor of the Coun­cil on Amer­i­can-Is­lamic Re­la­tions’ Min­nesota chap­ter.

Lit­tle is known about Adan, who was iden­ti­fied Sun­day by his fa­ther, Ahmed Adan. He had only a traf­fic ticket on his record, was ap­par­ently out of work after his job as a part-time se­cu­rity guard ended and hadn’t en­rolled in col­lege since the spring se­mes­ter. Adan was wear­ing a se­cu­rity guard’s uni­form dur­ing the at­tack.

A spokesman for the fam­ily, Abdi Wahid Os­man, read from a state­ment ex­press­ing con­do­lences for the in­jured and any­one else who was im­pacted.

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