ISIS Claims Responsibility For Minnesota Mall Attack

A knife-wielding man injured eight people at a Minnesota mall on Saturday

A Vocativ Illustration.
Sep 18, 2016 at 11:18 AM ET

The ISIS-linked Amaq News Agency said a man who injured eight people with a knife at a mall in Minnesota on Saturday was “a soldier of the Islamic State who carried out the attack in response to calls to target nationals of the Crusader coalition.”

In the statement, which was posted Sunday morning on its website, Amaq used wording similar to other statements claiming responsibility for recent attacks, including a June attack at a gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida and attacks in Magnanville, NiceWuerzburg, AnsbachNormandy, and Copenhagen. The wording indicates that ISIS may have had no knowledge of the attacks before they took place and instead took advantage of them as opportunities to say the terror group was behind the violence.

More ISIS Supporters Rush To Celebrate NYC Explosion

According to Reuters, St. Cloud Police Chief William Blair Anderson said Saturday’s attacker in the Crossroads Center mall, located in St. Cloud, referred to Allah. He had also asked at least one person if they were Muslim before attacking them, the news agency reported.

But the man’s motive remains unclear. “Whether that was a terrorist attack or not, I’m not willing to say that right now because we just don’t know,” Anderson said, Reuters reported. The man was shot dead by a police officer.

In August, after senior ISIS leader Abu Muhammad al-Adnani was killed in a U.S airstrike, ISIS-linked Telegram channels spread a call for the “general mobilization” of lone wolf actors across Arab and Western countries, urging them to take revenge against the U.S. It is unclear, however, if that call influenced Saturday’s Minnesota stabbing.