A ‘soldier of the Islamic State’ went on a stabbing rampage at a Minnesota shopping mall before he was shot and eliminated by an off-duty police officer, the terror group claims.
ISIS claimed responsibility for the attack at the Crossroads Center mall in St. Cloud on Saturday night in a statement released today through their propaganda channel.
The terrorist, who reportedly made references to Allah and asked at least one person whether they were Muslim, injured eight people, St Cloud Police Chief Blair Anderson said.
Shots broke out in Macy’s, and a off-duty officer from another jurisdiction killed the terrorist, according to Mayor Dave Kleis.
ISIS released a statement on Sunday that read: ‘The executor of the stabbing attacks in Minnesota yesterday was a soldier of the Islamic State and carried out the operation in response to calls to target the citizens of countries belonging to the crusader coalition.’
Anderson held off on calling the attack an act of terrorism on Saturday, saying instead: ‘We will be diligent and get to the bottom of this.’
It remains unclear whether the terrorist, whose identity has not been released, had direct contact with the terror group, which encourages ‘lone wolf’ attacks.
Anderson said the terrorist, who was dressed in a ‘private security uniform’, entered the Crossroads mall around 8pm last night.
‘That individual made some references to Allah and we confirmed that he asked at least one person if they were Muslim before assaulting them,’ he added.
Police had at least three prior contacts with the suspect for ‘minor traffic violations’.
Anderson said an off-duty police officer from another jurisdiction shot and killed the unidentified suspect. He did not disclose what department that officer works in.
Seven of the victims have been treated and released from the hospital, while one remains with non-life threatening injuries.
Sydney Weires told the St Cloud Times she saw a security guard sprinting and yelling, ‘Call the cops! Call the cops!,’ after a loud scream broke out in the mall.
She later saw one man with the back of his shirt drenched in blood, while another man who was bleeding from the face screamed: ‘Get the f*** out!’, Weires told the local paper.