UPDATE 1:45 p.m. EDT —
Dahir Adan was identified as the man who randomly stabbed nine people in a Minnesota mall while referring to Allah. The St. Cloud Times newspaper said Adan’s family last saw him about 2 to 1.5 hours before the attack, when he said he “was going to the mall to buy an iPhone 7.”
Adan was first identified by the St. Cloud Somali community. The newspaper said that leaders of the community had gathered with Adan’s family and expressed sympathy both for his family and the stabbing victims.
Community leader Abdul Kulane said the suspect did not have a violent history and described him as “a smart, accomplished student at Apollo High School. He was a junior at St. Cloud State University” who worked as a part-time private security officer, said the St. Cloud Times.
The police chief said the stabber had at least three contacts with St. Cloud police, but they were only for minor traffic infractions.
UPDATE: 11:25 a.m. EDT — THE ISLAMIC STATE HAS TAKEN CREDIT FOR A TERROR ATTACK IN MINNESOTA. An ISIS-run news agency claims the man who stabbed and wounded eight people at a mall in Minnesota before being shot dead by an off-duty police officer was a “soldier of the Islamic State.”
The ISIS-run Rasd news agency reported the claim on Sunday, saying the attacker had heeded calls from the extremist group for attacks in countries that are part of a U.S.-led anti-ISIS coalition.
It was not immediately clear if the extremist group had planned the attack or even knew about it beforehand. ISIS has encouraged so-called “lone wolf” attacks. It has also claimed past attacks that are not believed to have been planned by its central leadership.
On Saturday evening a man who is believed to be Muslim dressed in a private security uniform took a knife and started stabbing people in a mall located in Minnesota. The man injured 8 people and asked at least one victim whether they were Muslim. The attacker also referenced “Allah” during the assault, authorities said.
St. Cloud Police Chief William Blair Anderson said the suspect, whom he did not identify, was shot and killed by an off-duty police officer. All but one of the eight victims had been treated and released from a local hospital and all were expected to survive their injuries.
Anderson declined to call the attacks an act of terrorism, saying the suspect’s motive isn’t known yet. “We will be diligent and get to the bottom of this,” Anderson said. “Starting tomorrow, things won’t be the same here.”
Local police had three previous encounters with the suspect, most for minor traffic violations, Anderson said, adding that the FBI had offered to help with the investigation.
The mall remained on lockdown following the incident.
— jacob (@JacobMSchmitt) September 18, 2016
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