The growing international threat of Islamic terror is setting its sights specifically on Jewish targets in the West.
Muslim terrorists of the Somali-based Al-Shabab terror group released a video over the weekend threatening to target shopping malls in America.
At the end of a 77-minute video, focused mainly on the conflict between Kenya and Somalia and the deadly 2013 assault on a mall in Nairobi, an unidentified man hints that the terror organization’s followers may hit similar targets in the West, NPR reports.
“If just a handful of Mujahedeen [Muslim religious fighters] could bring Kenya to a complete stand-still for nearly a week, then imagine what a dedicated Mujahedeen in the West could do to the American or Jewish-owned shopping centers across the world,” the man said. “What if such an attack were to occur in the Mall of America in Minnesota? Or the West Edmonton Mall in Canada? Or in London’s Oxford Street?”
A Mall of America spokesperson said they were aware of the threats. “We take any potential threat seriously and respond appropriately. We have implemented extra security precautions. Some may be noticeable to guests, and others won’t be,” the statement reads. “We will continue to follow the situation, along with the federal, state and local law enforcement, and will remain vigilant as we always do in similar situations.”
Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson said he was taking the threats seriously. In an interview on CNN‘s State of the Union program, Johnson said a video released by the Somali-based group al-Shabab “reflects [a] new phase” in which terrorist networks publicly call “for independent actors in their homelands to carry out attacks.”
“We’re beyond the phase now where these groups would send foreign operatives into countries after being trained some place,” he said.
CNN reports that al-Shabab recruited members in Minneapolis, home to the largest Somali population in the US, which is located in close proximity to the Mall of America.
Reuters quoted Staff Sergeant Brent Meyer of Canada’s Royal Canadian Mounted Police as saying that authorities are looking into the video, but “there is no evidence at this time of any specific or imminent threat to Canadians.”
Expert: Jihadists Setting Sights on Jewish Targets
The fact that Al-Shabab threatened specifically “Jewish-owned” targets is particularly relevant, a leading expert on Jewish security and terrorist threats told The Algemeiner.
“The most recent threat by al-Shabaab against malls, and more specifically against Jewish-owned institutions around the world, is another indication that global Jihadi groups are increasingly focusing on Jews and Jewish institutions as a way to rally support for their cause,” Dr. Joshua Gleis, president of Gleis Security Consulting, told the Algemeiner.
The Mall of America is owned and the West Edmonton Mall is managed by the Iranian-Jewish Ghermezian family.
Last July, al-Shabaab spokesman Ali Dhere issued another threat against Jews in a speech at a Barawa mosque in Somalia, The Jerusalem Post reported at the time.
“The Jews are spread out throughout the world, and the Jews’ properties are spread everywhere. In light of this, the Muslims must attack the Jews and their properties in every place, and they must pray for their brothers in Gaza,” Dhere stated.
Al-Shabaab’s most recent threat follows deadly Islamist attacks at a synagogue in Copenhagen that left one Jew dead and the attack at the Hyper Cacher supermarket in Paris in which a Muslim terrorist murdered four Jews.
By: United with Israel Staff
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