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Officials Praise Off-Duty Cop Who Ended St. Cloud Mall Attack

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APTOPIX Mall St Cloud Minnesota

A police spokesman, Sgt. Tim Burke, declined to say Sunday whether the attacker worked as a security guard at the mall or was just posing as one.

Authorities had said earlier there were eight victims but one injured person transported himself to a hospital and was not initially counted, Anderson said.

ISIS has claimed responsibility for a stabbing attack that injured nine people at a Minnesota mall Saturday night.

The suspect, who was wearing a private security company uniform, made at least one reference to Allah during the attacks with what appeared to be a kitchen knife, and asked at least one person whether they were Muslim before attacking them, according to the St. Cloud Police Department.

"We are now investigating this as a potential act of terrorism", said the FBI's Richard Thornton, speaking at a news conference at the St Cloud Police Department headquarters. Authorities were looking at social media accounts and the attacker's electronic devices and talking to his associates, Thornton said.

Richard Thornton, FBI special agent in Minneapolis, said at the same news conference that the attacks are were being investigated as a "potential" act of terrorism, but the suspect's motive remains unknown. ISIS has encouraged so-called "lone wolf" attacks. It has also claimed past attacks that are not believed to have been planned by its central leadership.

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. Ahmed Adan, whose family is Somali, said his son was born in Africa and had lived in the USA for 15 years. Adan was shot dead by an off-duty police officer. He said they are viewing the attack as a "possible act of terrorism".

Authorities "have no reason to believe" anyone else was involved in the attacks, Anderson said.

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It's not clear whether the motive was criminal or terrorist, Della Fave said, but "it's obvious it was meant to affect the run". Just after the explosion, Della Fave said, police locked down the area near the garbage can and deployed bomb detection dogs.

A man in a security uniform and armed with a knife stabbed people in several locations in the mall, including corridors, businesses and common areas, the chief said.

Kleis and Anderson praised the swift actions of an off-duty, part-time Avon police officer for shooting and killing the attacker.

Dayton says the president told him to convey his "deep appreciation" for the work of investigators and the police officer who stopped the attacker. He praised Falconer saying, "He clearly prevented additional injuries and potentially loss of life". Paul, occurred at around 8 p.m. local time as the mall was bustling with shoppers, St. Cloud Police Chief William Blair Anderson told reporters.

Minnesota has the nation's largest Somali community.

Local police had three previous encounters with the suspect, most for minor traffic violations, Anderson said, adding that the FBI had offered to help with the investigation.

Minnesota has had a disturbing number of Somali migrants inflicted on it and so it's not too surprising that the terrorist turned out to be a Somali out of Kenya.

Minnesota has a higher than average migrant Muslim population and communities have been investigated for ISIS links in the past. The immigrant community has been a target for terror recruiters in recent years.

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