September 24, 2013
And for good reason, and not just because of copycats. The Daily Beast’s Miranda Green writes that American retail centers have tightened security and begun reviewing their resources in the wake of a terrorist attack by Somalia terror group al-Shabaab on an upscale Nairobi mall over the last several days:
The Department of Homeland Security is urging shopping malls in the United States to increase security in the aftermath of the carnage wrought by al Qaeda’s Somalia affiliate over the weekend in Nairobi, Kenya.
Malachy Kavanagh, a spokesman for the International Council of Shopping Centers, told The Daily Beast on Monday that the department contacted shopping malls on Sunday to check on the precautions they were taking against mass shooters.
U.S. intelligence officials say there is no specific threat information suggesting al Qaeda is planning a similar kind of mass shooting in American shopping malls. Nonetheless, security experts worry about copycats.
It’s not just the copycats that have American officials worried. Shabaab has successfully recruited dozens of young men from the US, mostly from the Twin Cities and its large Somali ex-pat community here. CBS News reviewed the well-known problem last night, noting that as many as 60 have disappeared over the last few years, and are presumed to be part of the terror group. Their familiarity with the US would make it easy for them to infiltrate to conduct a terrorist attack here, perhaps using the same model as Nairobi or Mumbai: