Minnesota mall stabbing could be realization of terror fears

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, Sept. 17, 2016, in St. Cloud, Minn. Police said multiple people were injured at the St. Cloud shopping mall on Saturday evening in an attack possibly involving both shooting and stabbing. The suspect is believed to be dead, St. Cloud Police Sgt. Jason Burke told the St. Cloud Times. (Dave Schwarz/St. Cloud Times via AP)
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, Sept. 17, 2016, in St. Cloud, Minn. Police said multiple people were injured at the St. Cloud shopping mall on Saturday evening in an attack possibly involving both shooting and stabbing. The suspect is believed to be dead, St. Cloud Police Sgt. Jason Burke told the St. Cloud Times. (Dave Schwarz/St. Cloud Times via AP)

ST. CLOUD, Minn. (AP) – The Latest on the knife attack at a Minnesota mall being investigated as a potential act of terrorism (all times local):

6:15 a.m.

Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton plans to travel to St. Cloud to meet with city officials about the weekend stabbing at a local mall that is being investigated as a potential act of terrorism.

Dayton and Lt. Gov. Tina Smith are scheduled to meet with St. Cloud Mayor Dave Kleis on Monday morning.

Authorities say seven men, one woman and a 15-year-old girl were stabbed and injured by a young Somali man who was dressed as a private security guard when he entered the Crossroads Center mall Saturday. He appeared to be wielding a kitchen knife.

The city’s police chief said the man reportedly made at least one reference to Allah and asked a victim if he or she was Muslim before attacking. The rampage ended when the man was fatally shot by an off-duty police officer.

None of the victims suffered life-threatening injuries.

___

1:20 a.m.

Authorities are investigating the stabbings of nine people at a central Minnesota mall as a potential act of terrorism, a finding that would be the realization of long-held fears of a domestic attack there.

The state is home to the nation’s largest Somali community, which has been a target for terror recruiters in recent years. The possibility of an attack on U.S. soil has been a major concern for law enforcement.

The motive for Saturday’s attack at a St. Cloud mall is still unclear, but FBI Special Agent-in-Charge Rick Thornton said Sunday the stabbings were being investigated as a “potential act of terrorism.”

The Islamic State also claimed responsibility, though it wasn’t immediately clear if the extremist group had planned the attack or even knew about it beforehand.

(Copyright 2016 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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