Masked Terror Fighter Threatens to Attack US, Canada and UK

Al Shabab has released a new video purportedly calling for an attack on Mall of America, West Edmonton Mall in Canada and the Oxford Street shopping area in London.

The video shows the celebrations by the group after the 2013 Westgate attack in Nairobi, Kenya and other graphic images of the group’s military maneuvers.

American televisions channels, including CNN, show the video narrator with his face wrapped in a black and white type of scarf speaking with a British accent.

The Somalia-based militants previously recruited young people in Minneapolis some years back since 2007 with the mix of nationalism and religious extremism motivation to topple the internationally backed government of Somalia.

Last year, the United States launched an airstrike in Somalia that killed the Al-Shabab leader, but Alshabab later replaced him and vowed to avenge his death.

Alshabab has recently made twin suicide bombings at Mogadishu’s Central Hotel; in this attack, 25 people died including two MPs, the deputy mayor of Mogadishu, the Prime Minister’s private secretary and the deputy PM’s chief of staff.

The deputy prime minister, the minister of transport and minister of port and marine resources were among dozens injured.

The group had previously targeted hotels, the international airport, the presidential palace known as Villa Somalia, the East African country’s equivalent of the U.S. White House, a UN compound and restaurants.

Mall of America: Shopping, Entertainment and Security

Mall of America is the US nation’s largest shopping and entertainment destination featuring over 520 stores, 50 restaurants and the largest indoor Nickelodeon theme park, Theatres at Mall of America and Moose Mountain Adventure Golf are also fun-filled attractions to guests.

As one can expect, the mall is huge and loud, it is almost overwhelming; huge fun for the tourists and family visitors with amusement areas that are great for kids.

The Mall of America security unit stops and questions over a thousand people each year. The interviews at the mall are part of a counter-terrorism initiative that acts as the private eyes and ears of law enforcement authorities but has often ensnared innocent people.

Organizations and individuals are encouraged by U.S. leaders to report any signs of threats to homeland security authorities.

The push to encourage Americans to report suspicious activity began in the aftermath of Sept. 11, 2001, when government officials and citizens found out there had been hints about the attackers that intelligence analysts missed.

Who are Alshabab?

Al Shabab is AlQaeda’s affiliate in Somalia. It operates primarily out of the country’s southern and central regions. The group is an insurgency, fighting against the internationally recognized Somali Federal Government, which is based in Somalia’s capital, Mogadishu.

Al Shabab has also targeted African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) peacekeepers for their support of the federal government.

The group has mainly focused on targets within Somalia, but it has also proven an ability to carry out deadly strikes in the region, including coordinated suicide bombings in Uganda’s capital in 2010 and deadly attacks in Kenya many times while they have repeatedly threatened the United States and the West. They have also demonstrated the capacity to strike beyond Somalia’s borders.

Omar Wardere is a Somali researcher, reporter and editor. He is a committee member of National Union of Somali Journalists (NUSOJ) and member of Foreign Correspondents Association of East Africa.