Malls in Peril? – DHS Sec Warns of Al Shabaab Video Threat

Editor’s Note – In what is seemingly becoming a contest for supremacy of how evil a Militant Jihad group can be, some high profile terror organizations like Boko Haram and al Shabaab are ratcheting up the threats to possibly prove they can be even worse than Da’esh.

Even though many other terror factions are uniting with Islamic State, it seems all terror groups want more press and it does not bode well for the civilized world. In a video released by al Shabbab, the threats are focused on malls in the US, Canada, and the UK.

West Edmonton Mall and Water Park in Canada
West Edmonton Mall and Water Park in Canada

The video purportedly shows 6 minutes of graphic images and the terrorists celebrating the 2013 Westgate Mall attack in Nairobi, Kenya, that killed more than 60 people.

The narrator, his face wrapped in a black-and-white kaffiyeh-type scarf and wearing a camouflage jacket, spoke with a British accent and appeared to be of Somali origin. He accused Kenyan troops in Somalia of committing abuses against Somali Muslims.

He ended the video by calling on Muslim men to attack other shopping malls in Western countries.

Perhaps it is just a way to continue to ring our bell, or a recruiting grab of their own, they focused on Minneapolis where the largest Somali population in the US exists. Officials are taking it all seriously and DHS Secretary warn everyone on the Sunday talk shows but may have walked some of that back:

The Department of Homeland Security has denied it is aware of any credible terrorist plots against shopping centers on US soil after their chief advised shoppers, particularly in the Mall of America, to be careful following threats from Somali extremists.

“We are not aware of any specific, credible plot against the Mall of America or any other domestic commercial shopping center,” Homeland Security Department spokeswoman Marsha Catron said in a statement. She noted, however, that federal agents have shared the information with local law enforcement and “private sector partners.”

However, this scenario is not new, and we all remember the Westgate mall in Nairobi, Kenya where over 60 were killed by al Shabaab in a sophisticated attack. They are also sending a message when we see the young being trained and the recent suicide bombing by a 7-year old in Nigeria. They are telling us that they are in it for the long haul no matter what the west does to Da’esh, al Qaeda, or any terror group by any name.

No matter how high the possibility is, the world has seen the evil mount rapidly and no one is feeling safe. In an abundance of caution, authorities have ramped up the message despite Obama’s conciliatory speeches of late.

Meanwhile, DHS report warns of domestic right-wing terror threat, imagine that! One also has to consider the fact that the DHS budget deadline looms.

DHS Secretary Warns as DHS Bill Comes Up: ‘If Anyone Is Planning to Go to The Mall…’

By Susan Jones – CNSNews.com

Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson went on the Sunday talk shows to demand that Republicans fund the Department of Homeland Security without blocking money for President Obama’s executive amnesty plan.

Westgate Mall in Nairobi, Kenya attacked by al Shabaab last year.
Westgate Mall in Nairobi, Kenya attacked by al Shabaab last year.

But he prefaced his you-better-fund-my-department pitch by warning that an al Qaeda-linked terror group, Al-Shabaab, is publicly calling for attacks on shopping malls in the United States, specifically the Mall of America in Minneapolis.

“I would say that, if anyone is planning to go to the Mall of America today, they have got to be particularly careful. And, as the statement you read indicates, there will be enhanced security there that will be apparent to people who are there,” Johnson told CNN’s “State of the Union” with Gloria Borger.

But on at least two of the Sunday morning shows, Johnson steered the hosts to the topic he wanted to talk about — Republicans using a DHS funding bill to block President Obama’s immigration policy, which goes beyond the scope of current law.

After talking about the threatening al-Shabaab video on CNN, Johnson said that “public vigilance, public awareness and public caution in situations like this is particularly important. And it’s the environment we’re in, frankly. And it’s all the more reason why I need a budget. And I’m assuming you’re going to ask me about that.”

“I will,” host Gloria Borger replied. “I am going to ask about that because, of course, this comes down at a time when Republicans in Congress are threatening to shut down your department in a week over a fight on immigration.”

Some 40 million people visit the Mall of America in Minneapolis, Minnesota
Some 40 million people visit the Mall of America in Minneapolis, Minnesota

(In fact, Republicans say they do not want to shut down DHS. They want to fund the Department of Homeland Security, except for President Obama’s plan to give work authorization and Social Security numbers to millions of illegal aliens living in the United States.)

The same thing happened later on ABC’s “This Week” with George Stephanopoulos, whose first three questions to Johnson involved national security, not DHS funding:

Johnson told Stephanopoulos, “The reason I think we’re all concerned about this is because it encourages independent actors who could strike with very little notice to our intelligence community, our law enforcement community here at home.

And so that’s one of the reasons, frankly, why it’s imperative that we have a budget for the Department of Homeland security, which is due to expire at the end of the week. And I’m assuming you’ll ask me about that at some point.”

“I will ask you about that,” Stephanopoulos replied. But first he asked Johnson about something else.

According to CNN, DHS officials began “walking back” Johnson’s warning after he appeared on the Sunday shows.

DHS Secretary Jeh Johnson
DHS Secretary Jeh Johnson

A spokesman for DHS told CNN the agency “is not aware of any specific credible plot against the Mall of America or any other domestic commercial shopping center.”

“Secretary Johnson didn’t say that they should not go to the mall, he told shoppers to be extra vigilant and that security was increased,” CNN quoted DHS Assistant Secretary Tanya Bradsher as saying.

Johnson later told CNN he does not regret any of the comments he made on the Sunday shows.

The threat of lone-wolf attacks in the United States is nothing new, nor is it a surprise that shopping malls might be a target.

And as Johnson amplified the video message from al-Shabaab Sunday morning, he said he was doing it because “there needs to be vigilance and, you know, just be careful, obviously.

It is a new phase. We’re in a new phase right now. And that involves public participation in our efforts.”