Islamic State has claimed credit for the stabbing attack at a Minnesota mall that injured 9 people on Saturday.
The suspect was shot and killed by an off duty policeman. His family identified him as Dahir A. Adan, 22 originally from Somalia.
Dahir A. Adan, 22 , has been identified as the man who stabbed nine people at a Minnesota mall Saturday before being shot dead by an off-duty police officer, according to two Somali community leaders in Minnesota who are in direct contact with the Adan's family. Federal law enforcement sources also confirmed Adan's name to CNN.It was reported by several sources that Adan asked his victims if they were Muslims and also invoked "Allah" during the rampage. But to the local Somali community, it's "unclear" what Adan's motivations were.
On Saturday night, Lul Hersi stood outside the Crossroads Mall in St. Cloud, Minnesota, waiting to find out whether her son was among the nine people stabbed by a man who an ISIS-linked news agency praised as a "soldier of the Islamic state."
Fear washed over the Somali-American mother, not just for her son's well being, but also because of the potential backlash that might follow against her community.
"This has been a dark day; it is a day we will never forget," said Hersi. "ISIS does not represent us. It does not represent Islam, and it does not represent Somalis."
The man, whom local media reports said was of Somali descent, stabbed nine people at the Minnesota mall before being shot dead by an off-duty police officer. The following day the Amaq agency posted a statement online, the latest in a series of ISIS-related media outlets claiming responsibility for purported attacks carried out by individuals across Europe and beyond this year.
CNN cannot independently this latest claim. Likewise, St. Cloud Police Chief William Blair Anderson told CNN Sunday he was unable to confirm if the mall stabbings were anything more than a lone attack.
"Right now, we're trying to get to the bottom of his motivations," Anderson said.
The FBI is calling the attack "a potential act of terrorism."
In response to this weekend's stabbing, members of the Muslim and Somali communities held a news conference Sunday to mourn the victims and call for unity.I'm sure the Somali community is horrified by the attack. But why do they have to link a "backlash" to the tragedy? This way, they make the attack about them, not the victims. It is unseemly for the Muslim community to do this - piggybacking their concerns on top of the terror attack. What would have been the problem with waiting a few days? I guess if some bigot attacks a member of their community now, they can say "Told you so."
"We are also concerned about the potential backlash," said Jaylani Hussein, executive director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) chapter in Minnesota. "We understand in St. Cloud there is more anti-Muslim organizing and we hope they do not use this incident to divide [our community]."
Ahmed Said, executive director of the Somali American Relations Council, said it remained unclear if religion motivated the attack. While he confirmed the attacker as Somali, the Minneapolis StarTribune quoted him as saying, authorities have not confirmed the attacker's ethnicity. CNN was also unable to confirm if he was Somali.
It is unknown if there is a connection between the attack at the mall and the bombings in New York and New Jersey. Stranger things have been true. But even if there isn't, the war on terror has entered a new phase in the US.