The knife-wielding attacker who stabbed eight people in a Minnesota mall on Saturday evening acted in the name of Allah and asked at least one of his victims if they were Muslims, according to authorities.
The stabbing, which occurred around 8:30 p.m. at the Crossroads Mall in St. Cloud, ended when an off-duty police officer from a different jurisdiction shot and killed the security uniform-clad suspect. Authorities have not officially identified the gunman, but his family identified him as 22 year-old Dahir A. Adan, according to the Star Tribune. The family said Adan was born in Africa and had lived in the United States for 15 years.
Gunshots were also reported at the scene, although no victims were reported to have sustained gunshot wounds. All eight victims have been treated and are expected to survive.
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Although authorities reported the stabbings were Allah-inspired and an Islamic State news agency claimed the attacker was a “soldier of the Islamic State,” St. Cloud Police Chief William Blair Anderson skirted the issue and abstained from referring to the attack as an act of terrorism.
“We will be diligent and get to the bottom of this,” Anderson said, according to Fox News. “Starting tomorrow, things won’t be the same here.”
The mall remained on lockdown through Sunday, and the FBI offered its help in sifting to the bottom of the investigation.
“The FBI is actively engaged at the scene with the St. Cloud Police Department,” the FBI said in a statement on Sunday. “Law enforcement is in the process of ascertaining the facts as to what occurred last night.”
The mall stabbing is the latest instance in a series of terror-related incidents and attacks to strike the state over the last few years.
In late August, Somali refugee Mohamed Amiin Ali Roble became the 11th person in Minnesota to be charged with conspiracy in providing material support to the Islamic State. According to recent data from the U.S. Census, Minnesota has the nation’s largest concentration of Somali refugees and immigrants at more than 30,000, which has led to increasing concerns that Minnesota could become a terrorist-recruiting hotspot for refugees.