(JTA) – A threat on “American or Jewish” shopping centres by the terrorist group responsible for the deadly 2013 attack on a Kenya mall has the U.S. security apparatus calling on the public to be vigilant.
Al-Shabab, a Somali group affiliated with al-Qaida, posted a video over the weekend about the Nairobi attack, which killed 67. The video concluded with a masked fighter encouraging followers to attack shopping centres around the world.
“If just a handful of mujahedeen fighters could bring Kenya to a complete standstill for nearly a week, just imagine what the dedicated mujahedeen could do in the West to American or Jewish shopping centres across the world,” the masked person said.
He specifically named the Mall of America in Minnesota, the West Edmonton Mall in Alberta, Oxford Street in London and two malls in France.
According to the Christian Post and Wikipedia, the Ghermezian family, which owns both the Mall of America and the West Edmonton mall, along with numerous other shopping malls around the world, is of Iranian-Jewish descent.
Security was increased at the Mall of America, UPI reported, and the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security were working with malls to prevent attacks.
According to CBC News, “Edmonton police say they are working closely with RCMP and West Edmonton Mall security to ensure necessary precautions are being made” there.
U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson said the global war on terror has entered a “new phase” and urged the public to be “vigilant.”
“Groups like ISIL [Islamic State], al-Shabab, AQAP (al-Qaida of the Arabian Peninsula) are now publicly calling for attacks either through the Internet, through videos, through publications,” Johnson said on ABC News. “Which means that we need to respond militarily, but we also have to have a whole government approach through law enforcement, homeland security and frankly countering violent extremism efforts here in the homeland in communities.”
(The Ottawa Jewish Bulletin contributed to this report.)