WASHINGTON (CBSDC/AP) – The Mall of America has stepped up security following the deadly attack by the Somali militant group al-Shabab at a mall in Nairobi, Kenya.
Officials at the Bloomington mall say some of the extra security precautions will be noticeable and some won’t be. Millions of people visit the mall and its 500 stores each year. Mall of America says the safety of its guests, tenants and employees is top priority.
According to CBS News, U.S. citizens were issued a “worldwide caution” Wednesday by the State Department saying it continued to be concerned about threats to U.S. citizens and interests in Europe, Asia, Africa and the Middle East. The State Department said an array of tactics – including suicide operations, assassinations, kidnappings, hijackings and bombings – could be used by terrorists.
Shopping malls, high-profile sporting events, residential areas, business offices, hotels, clubs, restaurants, places of worship, schools, public areas, and other tourist destinations where Americans gather in large numbers could be potential targets.
Al-Shabab, which is Somalia’s al-Qaida-linked rebel group, attacked an upscale shopping mall on Saturday, killing at least 59 people. The attackers said the strike was retribution for Kenyan forces’ 2011 push into neighboring Somalia.
Minnesota, where the Mall of America is located, is home to the largest Somali community in the U.S. At least 22 young men have traveled to Somalia since 2007 to join al-Shabab and the FBI says its investigation of the terror group’s recruiting remains a priority.
FBI spokesman Kyle Loven says there’s no confirmation of any American involvement in the Nariobi attack that the U.S. government says has killed more than 59 civilians.
(TM and © Copyright 2013 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2013 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)