The “mall knifeman,” so called because he stabbed nine people at a Minnesota shopping center over the weekend, has finally been identified by his father and it turns out he is Kenyan-born.
Mall knifeman, Dahir A Adan, is a Kenyan-born ethnic Somali. According to his father who spoke to the Minneapolis Star Tribune, the 22-year old student has been in the US for 15 years. The father said that he had absolutely “no suspicion” that his son was involved in extremist activity.
Nine people had fallen victim to the mall knifeman at Saturday evening’s attack at the Crossroads Center mall but no one died. Rasd, a news agency that is linked to the Islamic State group, accepted on Sunday that the Minnesota attacker was a “soldier of the Islamic State”.
In the wake of the onslaught that he unleashed, Dahir A Adan was dressed in a security uniform and carrying what appeared to be a kitchen knife.
The police said that he made at least one reference to Allah and asked a victim if he or she was Muslim before attacking. A company spokeswoman for Crossroads Center mall said that Adan had prior to the attack worked for the mall as a security guard for the mall’s Electrolux Home Products store.
He had been employed by security firm Securitas.
Victims of the attack included seven men, one woman, and a teenage girl. Dahir A Adan was shot and killed by an off-duty police officer. Police Chief Blair Anderson said that the police had three previous encounters with the attacker although for minor traffic violations. Police are, however, treating the mall attack as ‘a potential terror act’.
Dahir A Adan was, apparently, a student at St Cloud State University, but had not been enrolled since spring. US census figures shows Minnesota having the nation’s largest Somali community.
Somali leaders fear a possible ‘backlash’ against their community in the wake of the attack.