Terror group Al-Shabaab calls for attacks on UK and U.S. malls (Courtesty of Cnn.com)

Terror group Al-Shabaab calls for attacks on UK and U.S. malls (Courtesty of Cnn.com)

By: Helen Mafinejad, staff writer

On Saturday February 21st, Somalia-based terror group Al-Shabaab released a 77-minute video threatening attacks on shopping malls in Canada, the United Kingdom and United States. In the footage, the extremist specifically mentions London’s Oxford Street, and even provided GPS coordinates for the city’s large Westfield shopping centers.

In the footage, a man whom was dressed in a military style jacket, his face covered with a scarf, urges followers to carry out attacks on “American and Jewish-owned” shopping malls. Speaking with a British accent he says: “We call upon our Muslim brothers, particularly those in the West, to answer the call of Allah and target the disbelievers wherever they are.” Al-Shabaab had previously claimed the responsibility for the attack on the Kenyan Westgate shopping mall in 2013, which left 67 people dead.

Referring to the Westgate attacks, he adds: “If just a handful of mujahedeen fighters can bring Kenya to a complete standstill for nearly a week, imagine what a dedicate mujahedeen in the West could do to American or Jewish owned shopping centers around the world? What if such an attack took place on the Mall of America in Minnesota or the West Edmonton mall in Canada or in London’s Oxford Street or any of the hundred or so of the Jewish owned Westfield shopping centers. Take the Westfield shopping center in Stratford or White City. What would be the implications of such an attack, one can only imagine. All it takes is a man with firm determination, of which our Muslim ummah (community) has plenty of.”

Some U.S. and Canadian officials had earlier cast doubt on the credibility of the threats, which mention the Mall of America in Minnesota, the West Edmonton Mall in Canada, London’s Oxford Street and centers in Paris. According to CNN, Mall of America and Canada officials have responded publicly to the terror group’s threat. Mall of America is aware that they’re a potential target.

“We take any potential threat seriously and respond appropriately,” Mall of America released in a statement. “We have implemented more security precautions; some may noticeable to guests, and other’s won’t be,” they added.

A top Canadian official condemned the video, saying authorities are monitoring threats and will take “the appropriate actions” to protect public safety.

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and and the FBI states that there is no indication of a continuing plot from Al-Shabaab in the United States, according to two law enforcement officials who have seen it. The DHS and FBI, believe the video was was an attempt by Al-Shabaab to compete for attention and recruits with other terrorist groups, one official said.

The shopping malls are taking all the precautionary measures to ensure the public’s safety and have implemented the amount of security and they’re working with federal and law enforcement agencies.