Political News

The Latest: Family of mall stabbing suspect 'devastated'

Posted September 19

— The Latest on the knife attack at a Minnesota mall being investigated as a potential act of terrorism (all times local):

8:10 p.m.

The family of a man who went on a stabbing rampage at a Minnesota mall has issued a statement expressing condolences to the 10 people injured and anyone else who was affected.

A spokesman for the family of 20-year-old Dahir Adan read from a statement Monday that said the family is "devastated by the incomprehensible tragic event. The statement also said the family is in "deep shock."

Adan's father has identified him as the mall attacker who was eventually shot dead by an off-duty police officer.

Federal investigators say they're looking at the attack as a potential act of terrorism.

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6:40 p.m.

A community activist says a man who went on a stabbing rampage at a Minnesota mall that injured 10 people had gone to the mall to pick up a pre-ordered iPhone.

Haji Yusuf, community director for the social tolerance group UniteCloud, has been working with the family of 20-year-old Dahir Adan. Adan's father has identified him as the mall attacker who was eventually shot dead by an off-duty police officer.

Yusuf told WCCO-TV that Adan had gone to Crossroads Center to get a new phone and "was very happy" upon leaving home. He says Adan's family doesn't know what happened.

A person who answered the phone at the T-Mobile store where Yusuf said Adan had ordered the phone declined to comment or take a message for his supervisor.

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4:35 p.m.

Police have identified a 10th victim in the weekend stabbing at a central Minnesota mall.

St. Cloud police say that while they were reviewing security footage as part of their investigation into Saturday's stabbing at Crossroads Center mall, they found another man had been hurt.

Due to the nature of his injuries, the 21-year-old man did not tell police or initially seek medical attention. The other nine victims have all been released from the hospital.

The attack ended when the suspect, who was identified by his father as Dahir Adan, was shot and killed by an off-duty police officer.

Federal investigators say they're looking at the attack as a potential act of terrorism.

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4:10 p.m.

Islamic State militants rarely miss a chance to claim at least partial credit for apparent terrorist attacks on U.S soil, though they haven't staged planned attacks here.

Terrorism experts say they're eager to precisely because they apparently haven't carried out carefully planned attacks here and because in terrorism circles, your influence is often ranked by numbers of attacks.

Karen Greenberg, the director of the Fordham Law School's Center on National Security in New York, says some militant groups are more reluctant about associating themselves with attackers unless it is clear they adhere to their core beliefs.

An Islamic State-run news agency claimed on Sunday that the attack at the Crossroads Center mall in St. Cloud, Minnesota, was a "soldier of the Islamic State," but authorities say there's no sign yet he was radicalized or communicated with any terrorist group.

The speed with which IS weighed in may also say something about a competition for recruits between the Middle East-based IS and the east Africa-based militant group al-Shabab, which has recruited Somali-Americans from Minnesota with some success in recent years.

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4:05 p.m.

The man who stabbed nine people before being shot and killed at a Minnesota mall had nothing more than a minor traffic citation on his record.

Dahir Adan was killed by an off-duty police officer minutes into the attack Saturday night at the mall in St. Cloud. None of the nine people suffered life-threatening wounds.

Court records show Adan was stopped in August for a traffic violation and cited for no proof of insurance. Adan didn't pay the fine when it was due and was sent a late notice just days before the attack. Court records show he owes $342.

The court record and a driver's license database show Adan as 20 years old. The Star Tribune earlier reported Adan's age as 22, based on his father speaking through an interpreter.

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3:15 p.m.

One of the nine people wounded in a stabbing at a central Minnesota mall says the man who carried out the attack showed no emotion and his eyes looked blank.

Ryan Schliep of Willmar says he initially saw the attacker with a girl on Saturday and thought they were playing around. But he realized the situation was serious when the man "just walked right at me."

Schliep tells WCCO-TV that the attacker stabbed him in the head and Schliep fell to the ground. The knife hit Schliep's skull, and just missed his brain.

Schliep and the eight other victims have all been released from the hospital.

Federal investigators say they're looking at the attack as a potential act of terrorism.

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12:40 p.m.

A Minnesota police chief says the part-time officer who fatally shot a man stabbing people at a St. Cloud mall was "the right person, at the right place, at the right time" to prevent the attack from getting worse.

Avon Police Chief Corey Nellis said at a news conference Monday that Jason Falconer "was the person who needed to be there." Falconer was shopping at Crossroads Center on Saturday night when he shot a man who stabbed nine people and then lunged at Falconer with a knife.

Falconer owns a firing range and is the firearms instructor for the city of Avon. Nellis said: "If I was going to ask anybody to fire ... live rounds in a crowded mall, I would trust his abilities next to anybody's."

Since Falconer has not been on the police schedule for some time, he has not been put on administrative leave. The FBI is investigating the stabbings as a potential terrorist act.

Falconer was not at the news conference.

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12:15 p.m.

St. Cloud Police Chief Blair Anderson says there's nothing yet to suggest that it more than "was a lone attacker" that stabbed nine people at a Minnesota mall over the weekend.

Gov. Mark Dayton said at a Monday news conference said the state will help however it can and asked citizens of St. Cloud and the state to "rise above" the incident.

Dayton met with St. Cloud Mayor Dave Kleis and other city officials before the news conference.

Kleis said it's been a trying time for the city and said he has tremendous respect for the off-duty officer who shot and killed the attacker.

Nine people were injured in Saturday's stabbing attack; all have been treated and released.

Federal investigators say they're looking at the attack as a potential act of terrorism after the Islamic State claimed the suspect had heeded its calls for attacks in countries that are part of a U.S.-led anti-Islamic State coalition.

The motive is unknown.

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11:30 a.m.

Uniformed security guards are visibly present at a Minnesota shopping mall that has reopened after a man stabbed nine people in what authorities are investigating as a potential terrorist incident.

There was a steady trickle of shoppers into the Crossroads Center in St. Cloud after the doors opened Monday. The mall was closed Sunday while authorities investigated Saturday night's incident, which ended when an off-duty police officer shot and killed the suspect.

Adnan Alasker, who was in town from Saudi Arabia to visit his son at St. Cloud State University, said he feels badly about the violence. He says all people are brothers and equal regardless of their religion.

Mall officials declined to comment Monday, referring questions to police. All nine people who were attacked were treated at a hospital and released.

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11:15 am.

President Barack Obama says there is no apparent connection between the stabbings at a mall in Minnesota and the bombings in New York and New Jersey.

The president on Monday echoed FBI officials, who have said they're investigating Saturday's stabbing of nine people at a St. Cloud mall as a potential act of terrorism.

Gov. Mark Dayton, who traveled to St. Cloud, says Obama called him Monday morning to express concern about the stabbing and offer any assistance.

Dayton says the president told him to convey his "deep appreciation" for the work of investigators and the police officer who stopped the attacker.

The man, whom his father has identified as 22-year-old Dahir Adan, was fatally shot by an off-duty officer at Crossroads Center mall.

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10:35 a.m.

The man who was fatally shot by an off-duty officer after stabbing nine people at a Minnesota mall this weekend had worked as a security guard for a store near the mall.

Electrolux Home Products' spokeswoman Eloise Hale said Monday that the man was an employee of the security firm Securitas and was assigned for a few months to an Electrolux facility. That assignment ended in June.

Officials said the man, whom his father has identified as 22-year-old Dahir Adan, was dressed as a security guard when he stabbed people Saturday.

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. It isn't clear whether Adan was radicalized.

All of those who were injured have been released from a hospital.

This item has been corrected to show that the Electrolux facility is not in the Crossroads Center mall at St. Cloud.

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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.

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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.

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