Minnesota stabbing: Isis claims responsibility for shopping mall attack

Attacker 'asked at least one victim if they were Muslim'

Samuel Osborne
Sunday 18 September 2016 15:41
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This image from video provided by KSTP 5 television in Minneapolis, Minnesota, shows police activity at the scene of a stabbing at the Crossroads Center mall in St Cloud, Minnesota
This image from video provided by KSTP 5 television in Minneapolis, Minnesota, shows police activity at the scene of a stabbing at the Crossroads Center mall in St Cloud, Minnesota

An Isis supporter carried out the stabbing attack that wounded at least eight people at a mall in St Cloud, Minnesota, the group has claimed.

A man wearing a private security uniform and armed with at least one knife stabbed eight people at the Crossroads Center mall before he was shot dead by an off-duty police officer, authorities said.

The group's Amaq news agency released a statement to say: "The executor of the stabbing attacks in Minnesota yesterday was a soldier of the Islamic State and carried out the operation in response to calls to target the citizens of countries belonging to the crusader coalition."

The attacker asked at least one of his victims if they were Muslim and made references to Allah, St Cloud Police Chief Blair Anderson said.

The victims were taken to hospital with non-life-threatening injuries after the attack at the Crossroads Center was first reported around 8.15pm Saturday.

All but one victim was later released.

People stand near the entrance on the north side of Crossroads Center mall between Macy's and Target as officials investigate a reported multiple stabbing incident, Saturday, 17 September, 2016, in St Cloud, Minnesota

Mr Anderson said an off-duty police officer from another jurisdiction shot and killed the unidentified suspect, who was armed with a knife and wearing a private security firm uniform.

He did not identify the attacker, but said police had had three previous encounters with him, mostly for minor traffic violations.

Authorities "have no reason to believe" anyone else was involved in the attack, Mr Smith added.

The attack began shortly after an explosion in a crowded New York City neighborhood injured 29 people. A suspicious device was found a few blocks away and safely removed.

Hours before that, a pipe bomb exploded in Seaside Park, New Jersey, shortly before thousands of runners were due to participate in a charity 5K race.

There was no indication that any of the incidents were linked.

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