Readers may remember the stabbing attack on two shoppers at the Mall of America in Minnesota last November. It was widely reported in the mainstream media to be a robbery attempt. Many of us had our suspicions about that, given the name and religion of the attacker (not widely reported at the time). To this day, such evasion continues.
However, it now looks like our suspicions were justified.
At the plea hearing Thursday, Abdiraham's attorney read a statement — which is public record — to the courtroom, which explained why he attacked the two men.
In the statement, Abdiraham said he went to the Mall of America to answer the "call for jihad by the Chief of Believer, Abu-bakr Al-baghdadi, may Allah protect him, and by the Mujahiden of the Islamic State."
The statement added, "I understand that the two men I stabbed know and have explained the reason for my attack, and I am here reaffirming that it was indeed an act of Jihad in the way of Allah."
Abdiraham also said in the statement that Americans will not be safe as long as "your country is at war with Islam."
Omar Jamal, an activist with a Somali watchdog group, said he is aware of the statement.
"This is a widespread sentiment with Somali youth," he said.
Jamal said the federal government's effort to make it difficult for would-be jihadists to travel abroad and join a terrorist group has had unintended consequences locally.
"What is very concerning in this instance, is the fact that youth are exploring more 'How can I do something here, what weapons are accessible,'" he said.
There's more at the link.
It's not racist or intolerant in the least to acknowledge that certain areas of the country are at higher risk of this sort of attack, because of the higher proportion of Islamic candidates who might be potentially radicalized in that way. Minnesota's Twin Cities area is among them, thanks to a large local population of Somali refugees and immigrants.
If you live in or near such an area, it's no more than common sense to be on the alert. I'm not for a moment advocating vigilante justice, or anything so stupid. However, if the two men stabbed in this attack had been more aware of the risks involved, and more on their guard, they might have been better able to protect themselves. That's a worthwhile thought to keep in mind.