American malls raise alert level after Nairobi attack

posted at 10:41 am on September 24, 2013 by Ed Morrissey

And for good reason, and not just because of copycats.  The Daily Beast’s Miranda Green writes that American retail centers have tightened security and begun reviewing their resources in the wake of a terrorist attack by Somalia terror group al-Shabaab on an upscale Nairobi mall over the last several days:

The Department of Homeland Security is urging shopping malls in the United States to increase security in the aftermath of the carnage wrought by al Qaeda’s Somalia affiliate over the weekend in Nairobi, Kenya.

Malachy Kavanagh, a spokesman for the International Council of Shopping Centers, told The Daily Beast on Monday that the department contacted shopping malls on Sunday to check on the precautions they were taking against mass shooters.

U.S. intelligence officials say there is no specific threat information suggesting al Qaeda is planning a similar kind of mass shooting in American shopping malls. Nonetheless, security experts worry about copycats.

It’s not just the copycats that have American officials worried. Shabaab has successfully recruited dozens of young men from the US, mostly from the Twin Cities and its large Somali ex-pat community here. CBS News reviewed the well-known problem last night, noting that as many as 60 have disappeared over the last few years, and are presumed to be part of the terror group. Their familiarity with the US would make it easy for them to infiltrate to conduct a terrorist attack here, perhaps using the same model as Nairobi or Mumbai:

It’s an ongoing problem, and the FBI and local community have cooperated with each other to try to stop it. That leaves one particular mall as a potential target — the nearby Mall of America, which is the largest in the US and attracts considerable international business:

The Mall of America, the biggest shopping mall in the United States, has already increased security measures in response to the Nairobi mall siege over the weekend.

“Mall of America continues to monitor the tragic events unfolding in Kenya with the help of federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies,” said a spokesman for the mall. “Mall of America has implemented extra security precautions. Some may be noticeable to guests, and others won’t be. We will continue to follow the situation, along with law enforcement, and will remain vigilant as we always do in similar situations.”

The giant shopping mall is in Bloomington, Minnesota, less than 20 minutes from Minneapolis, which boasts a vibrant Somali-American community, from which al Qaeda’s Somalia affiliate, Al-Shabab, has been recruiting heavily.

One possible problem for that mall as a target would be the risk of exposure for the infiltrated Shabaab terrorists. They run a higher risk of being recognized in the Twin Cities than they would in other parts of the country.  As MoA states, though, they can’t run the risk of assuming that will be the case.

One potential step malls might take to beef up the deterrence factor would be to welcome lawfully armed citizens to shop there.  The Daily Mail reported yesterday that one such man in the Nairobi attack managed to save perhaps as many as 100 potential victims of the siege:

A former marine emerged as a hero of the Nairobi siege yesterday after he was credited with saving up to 100 lives.

The ex soldier was having coffee at the Westgate mall when it was attacked by Islamists on Saturday.

With a gun tucked into his waistband, he was pictured helping two women from the complex. …

The former soldier is said to have returned to the building on a dozen occasions, despite intense gunfire.

A friend in Nairobi said: ‘What he did was so heroic. He was having coffee with friends when it happened.

‘He went back in 12 times and saved 100 people. Imagine going back in when you knew what was going on inside.’

Sources said the soldier was in the Royal Marine and now lives in Kenyan. He cannot be named for security reasons.

The Mall of America declared itself a “gun free zone” in response to the expansion of carry permits in Minnesota.  Maybe they should rethink that policy in light of recent events.


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The Department of Homeland Security is urging shopping malls in the United States to increase security

So the local mall will hire more old men without firearms in order to “increase” security?

GarandFan on September 24, 2013 at 12:45 PM

So the local mall will hire more old men without firearms in order to “increase” security?

GarandFan on September 24, 2013 at 12:45 PM

…whom they order to stand down in a crisis…

Schadenfreude on September 24, 2013 at 12:47 PM

You guys pick weird heroes.

urban elitist on September 24, 2013 at 12:28 PM

Hmmm…..Roman Polanski comes to mind.

NapaConservative on September 24, 2013 at 12:47 PM

I’m guessing he spends very little time educating himself on anything if still uses the, “Shoot-em-up Wild West!”, argument against guns.

NotCoach on September 24, 2013 at 12:41 PM

Well, ya know – out here in the wild wild west (like Colorado) we still have to battle through hordes of rampaging Injuns just to get to Walmart. And we have shootouts in the street at high noon darn near every day. He11, I’ve had to shoot 3 or 4 guys for cheatin at poker in the last year….

dentarthurdent on September 24, 2013 at 12:51 PM

I have never seen a good explanation why this country allowed the immigration of tens of thousands of Somalis.

I used to live in Columbus, Ohio, yet another city that “boasts” of a large, non-assimilating, community of Somalis.

Don’t we have enough surly American cab drivers already?

Dandapani on September 24, 2013 at 12:52 PM

You guys pick weird heroes.

urban elitist on September 24, 2013 at 12:28 PM

Hmmm…..Roman Polanski comes to mind.

NapaConservative on September 24, 2013 at 12:47 PM

Trixie Manning (the hacker soldier)?
Mass murderer Che Guevara?
Lovable benevolent teddy bear Hugo Chavez?

dentarthurdent on September 24, 2013 at 12:54 PM

Well, ya know – out here in the wild wild west (like Colorado) we still have to battle through hordes of rampaging Injuns just to get to Walmart. And we have shootouts in the street at high noon darn near every day. He11, I’ve had to shoot 3 or 4 guys for cheatin at poker in the last year….

dentarthurdent on September 24, 2013 at 12:51 PM

I know what you mean. Ever since Michigan went shall issue I’ve got wet behind the ears youngins coming round my place all the time thinking they can outdraw me.

NotCoach on September 24, 2013 at 12:54 PM

I know what you mean. Ever since Michigan went shall issue I’ve got wet behind the ears youngins coming round my place all the time thinking they can outdraw me.

NotCoach on September 24, 2013 at 12:54 PM

Ya – I’m gonna have to hold another “quick and dead” competition soon in my neighborhood to get rid of some more young guns who want my turf….
Being neighborhood watch block captain sometimes just seems like so much responsibility…..

dentarthurdent on September 24, 2013 at 12:58 PM

I don’t know what you are talking about. Every time I go visit my son in Larimer County I’m usually walking around with a gun on my hip just itching for a gun fight. All I ever get is some nice conversation. Please tell what I’m doing wrong.

jerryofva on September 24, 2013 at 1:03 PM

The pendulum has been wound up so hard towards the left in this country that, when it finally releases, it’ll swing so hard to the right that it’ll register on the richter scale.

NapaConservative on September 24, 2013 at 1:11 PM

A citizen with a gun is the best security…

PatriotRider on September 24, 2013 at 1:12 PM

Ya – I’m gonna have to hold another “quick and dead” competition soon in my neighborhood to get rid of some more young guns who want my turf….
Being neighborhood watch block captain sometimes just seems like so much responsibility…..

dentarthurdent on September 24, 2013 at 12:58 PM

Also, I shot a man once just for snoring.

NotCoach on September 24, 2013 at 1:12 PM

I don’t know what you are talking about. Every time I go visit my son in Larimer County I’m usually walking around with a gun on my hip just itching for a gun fight. All I ever get is some nice conversation. Please tell what I’m doing wrong.

jerryofva on September 24, 2013 at 1:03 PM

You’re reputation proceeds you jerry “Quick Draw McGraw”ofva. Everyone is afeard of challenging you.

NotCoach on September 24, 2013 at 1:14 PM

I don’t know what you are talking about. Every time I go visit my son in Larimer County I’m usually walking around with a gun on my hip just itching for a gun fight. All I ever get is some nice conversation. Please tell what I’m doing wrong.

jerryofva on September 24, 2013 at 1:03 PM

Try punching outsomeone’s horse tied up in front of the saloon – that might get you a gun fight.
Although if you succeed in knocking out the horse, you might not get a challenge….

dentarthurdent on September 24, 2013 at 1:14 PM

dentarthurdent @12:51

That reminds me of the time I was passing thru Colorado. It was late afternoon and I stopped at the Buffalo Wallow Saloon. I figured that I would see someone in there, but it was just me and the bartender. I thought the cowboys would be done with their chores by now. So, I’m sitting there enjoying my beverage and then the stagecoach rolled into town. Then here comes this dude. He had on purple pants, an orange shirt, a red hat, and a green scarf. Wow! He walks up to the bartender and asks (in a very high-pitched voice) Where are all of the cowboys?
Bartender: They’re down at the livery stable hanging a queer.
Dude: (in a very low, manly voice) When is the next stage out of town?

Mirimichi on September 24, 2013 at 1:20 PM

Don’t these shooters understand that they are breaking the law?

coldwarrior on September 24, 2013 at 11:14 AM

I’m sure you’re familiar with adage that it is easier to beg forgiveness than it is to get permission. Well, “Alahu Akbar” is nothing more than saying you’re sorry. /

Happy Nomad on September 24, 2013 at 11:17 AM

I thought “Alahu Akbar” meant never having to say you’re sorry.

/from “Love Story”

Paul-Cincy on September 24, 2013 at 1:21 PM

Are you saying that Zimmy is a moron as well as a coward?

urban elitist on September 24, 2013 at 12:18 PM

Why no, I’m saying you are. Also there nothing elite about you. You’re common as dirt.

Oldnuke on September 24, 2013 at 1:27 PM

Mirimichi on September 24, 2013 at 1:20 PM

I oughta shoot you for making me smile. It makes my mouth muscles sore.

NotCoach on September 24, 2013 at 1:30 PM

You guys pick weird heroes.

urban elitist on September 24, 2013 at 12:28 PM

Yeah, but we have really cool names for our phony stories.

Oldnuke on September 24, 2013 at 1:30 PM

Not coach:

I thought it was pretty funny the first time I heard it, too.

Mirimichi on September 24, 2013 at 1:32 PM

Which of us would you like to be around when the guns go off?

jerryofva on September 24, 2013 at 12:37 PM

I’d like to be around UE just to watch him wet himself and puke.

Oldnuke on September 24, 2013 at 1:34 PM

Although if you succeed in knocking out the horse, you might not get a challenge….

dentarthurdent on September 24, 2013 at 1:14 PM

Yeah, but it leaves you wide open for an exploding candygram.

Oldnuke on September 24, 2013 at 1:35 PM

Shabaab has successfully recruited dozens of young men from the US, mostly from the Twin Cities and its large Somali ex-pat community here.

Celebrate diversity!

AZCoyote on September 24, 2013 at 1:38 PM

Wasn’t the Mall of America hit in one of Clancy’s novels? Just like Kenya?

Oh – and I always carry concealed in gun free zones. So does anyone else with a brain and a permit. Why on Earth would I disarm in the place I’m most likely to actually need it?

Professor Blather on September 24, 2013 at 1:46 PM

Oh – and I always carry concealed in gun free zones. So does anyone else with a brain and a permit. Why on Earth would I disarm in the place I’m most likely to actually need it?

Professor Blather on September 24, 2013 at 1:46 PM

I’ve found that it’s always best to go armed in places where arms are not allowed….or something like that.

Oldnuke on September 24, 2013 at 1:54 PM

Also, I shot a man once just for snoring.

NotCoach on September 24, 2013 at 1:12 PM

Yeah, but have you ever shot a man in Reno just to watch him die?

Othniel on September 24, 2013 at 1:58 PM

Celebrate diversity!

AZCoyote on September 24, 2013 at 1:38 PM

Well I sure do.
As many different calibers as I can get….

dentarthurdent on September 24, 2013 at 2:15 PM

Yeah, but it leaves you wide open for an exploding candygram.

Oldnuke on September 24, 2013 at 1:35 PM

Oooohh, ya – those are nasty. Gotta watch out for them…

dentarthurdent on September 24, 2013 at 2:16 PM

What could possibly terrorize the malls more thoroughly than Obamanomics and Barky the Vacationer?

At a high end mall nearby I’ve already seen about seven or eight stores shuttered there since mid-February.

viking01 on September 24, 2013 at 2:23 PM

I believe it was Wayne LaPierre who coined the phrase:
“The only way to stop a bad guy with a gun, is a good guy with a gun.”

Might I ask the LIVeral’s and TROOL’s commenthing here, to kindly refute this claim? (A futile request I know but let’s see them try.)

Missilengr on September 24, 2013 at 2:25 PM

Yeah, a higher “alert level” is going to help against two dozen well-armed and trained gunmen on a mission to kill. And no, that dress doesn’t make you look fat, Hon.

It would be more effective to cut off immigration from Somalia and send back those already here. There are too many people with skills and education and enough of their own money to stay off the dole who want to come here, but can’t because all our slots are taken up by unskilled poor people, too many of whom hate America and our way of life before they ever get here.

Adjoran on September 24, 2013 at 2:53 PM

So you want untrained vigilantes to open fire in a crowded mall based on what they think is going on? Not good odds, there.

urban elitist on September 24, 2013 at 12:24 PM

Please most of us who carry are much better trained than the run of the mill cop who only has to qualify once a year. Even then your meme reeks of self serving BS. Must be all the pollution in the air you breath in that urban environment. I live in a open/concealed carry state that doesn’t require permits and we haven’t had one incidence of the kind of cr*p you obsess about. In fact in the county I live in we haven’t had a murder in over 6 years. Can you say that about the gun controlled urban environment you live in?

chemman on September 24, 2013 at 2:56 PM

Could a leftist troll explain the rationale behind this kind of thinking for us? While I understand the knee jerk stupidity that causes this kind of reaction, I fail to understand how anyone sane person could continue support such a position in the face of reality.

The Mall of America probably doesn’t think that having a bunch of heavily armed yahoos wandering around the Victoria’s Secret contributes to a relaxing shopping experience.

They likely aren’t excited by the prospect of a dispute over a parking place or the last Tickle Me Elmo turning into an armed showdown.

Given that even trained cops have a habit of gunning down bystanders in shootouts in crowded situations, they’re probably not eager to have a bunch of yahoos “helping” their security should an incident occur.

There’s always the problem of hero-wannabes provoking an incident and then killing an innocent kid, George Zimmerman-like.

So, yeah, if I’m a shopping mall manager, I’ve got to figure that the odds of some armed idiot doing damage to my property is significantly higher than they odds that they’ll stop a terrorist attack in the making.

urban elitist on September 24, 2013 at 12:02 PM

Nothing about it being the Wild, Wild West? You know you’re supposed to drop a warning about the mall becoming the Wild, Wild West.

Get it together, man! If you’re going to comment here, we need you to bring your A game!

There Goes the Neighborhood on September 24, 2013 at 3:19 PM

Wasn’t the Mall of America hit in one of Clancy’s novels? Just like Kenya?

Professor Blather on September 24, 2013 at 1:46 PM

Soft Target by Stephan Hunter

http://www.amazon.com/Soft-Target-Thriller-Stephen-Hunter/dp/1439138710

Bruno Strozek on September 24, 2013 at 3:19 PM

So, anyone want to tackle what the ideal defensive technique should be when confronted with an armed criminal?

rogerb on September 24, 2013 at 12:11 PM

I’m no expert. What stance will allow you to simultaneously pee and vomit on your attacker?

There Goes the Neighborhood on September 24, 2013 at 3:24 PM

Only one I heard about was low life thug gangsta wannabe Trayvon Martin. Who ambushed Zimmerman and tried to beat his brains out with a sidewalk.

I’m trying to figure out how you ambush someone who is stalking you. Are you saying that Zimmy is a moron as well as a coward?

urban elitist on September 24, 2013 at 12:18 PM

Trayvon is dead because he very stupidly attacked a man with his fists who was armed with a handgun.

But he figured out how to ambush Zimmerman.

From which I can only conclude you’re not as bright as Trayvon. Might want to up your life insurance.

There Goes the Neighborhood on September 24, 2013 at 3:27 PM

This is your reasoning? Wow. I thought we dispensed with this silly nonsense 20 years ago. Why haven’t shall issue states become like the imagined Wild West of Hollywood? It used to be that any state that was debating becoming a shall issue state we heard that illogical nonsense you just spewed above. Now? Not so much since none of those predictions came true.

NotCoach on September 24, 2013 at 12:18 PM

As recently as July 2013, when the Mississippi legislature finally passed a law defining what is and is not a concealed weapon, so that lawyers and police departments couldn’t claim a handgun in plain view was actually a concealed weapon.

The SPLC and some left-wing Democrats were wringing their hands about how the state was going to become the Wild Wild West, and managed to get a friendly judge to issue an injunction against the law.

BTW, the MS Supreme Court struck down the injunction just a couple weeks ago, and ruled that the judge was in error.

There Goes the Neighborhood on September 24, 2013 at 3:34 PM

There Goes the Neighborhood on September 24, 2013 at 3:34 PM

I guess it’s the argument of last resort. When all else fails invent imaginary boogeymen. I honestly don’t hear it used that much anymore though since it is such a huge fail.

NotCoach on September 24, 2013 at 3:38 PM

I guess it’s the argument of last resort. When all else fails invent imaginary boogeymen. I honestly don’t hear it used that much anymore though since it is such a huge fail.

NotCoach on September 24, 2013 at 3:38 PM

Well since you mentioned it, this tread: the picture of the guy with the AK smiling? I was thinking… if Obama had a son…
Nah. You’re right. I don’t hear that used much anymore.

onomo on September 24, 2013 at 5:29 PM

I’m no expert. What stance will allow you to simultaneously pee and vomit on your attacker?

There Goes the Neighborhood on September 24, 2013 at 3:24 PM

The Inverted Weaver Stance?
I think that one works well for those who suffer from cranial-rectal inversion syndrome – very common among left-wingers.

dentarthurdent on September 24, 2013 at 5:39 PM

I guess it’s the argument of last resort. When all else fails invent imaginary boogeymen. I honestly don’t hear it used that much anymore though since it is such a huge fail.

NotCoach on September 24, 2013 at 3:38 PM

The one I like is the “What kind of message does it send…?” argument. The people making it apparently don’t realize that if it sends any kind of message, gun possession is protected by the First Amendment, too.

PersonFromPorlock on September 24, 2013 at 5:39 PM

In a related news article on FoxNews titled:

Could Kenya mall attack happen here?

Do “journalists” not pay attention to the news?
Let’s see…. Sandy Hook, Columbine, Aurora theater, DC Navy Yard, Ft Hood – all gun free zones – many malls are gun free zones – we have thousands or even millions of Muslim immigrants in this country….
Besides the obvious “duhhhh, it already has” – add above details together and ask that leading question again, and the answer is – “Well what the he11 do you think?

dentarthurdent on September 24, 2013 at 5:46 PM

The one I like is
PersonFromPorlock on September 24, 2013 at 5:39 PM

Oh,oh!
“I don’t have all the facts, but I think we can agree the (opponent or straw man here) acted stupidly”
Its one of my favorite telepromterless quotes.
Or the one where he made us all Rosa Parks, “They can come along, but they gotta ride in back”. I love that one.
Then there’s the, “Well I’m not a crook”. But that’s just mixing turds uh mincing… I’ll stick with the first one.

onomo on September 24, 2013 at 6:00 PM

dentarthurdent on September 24, 2013 at 5:46 PM

Don’t forget the Boston Marathon. Not a shooting spree but still. Has that been tagged as a terrorist attack or just a disgruntled sports critic expressing his displeasure?

Oldnuke on September 24, 2013 at 6:01 PM

Don’t forget the Boston Marathon. Not a shooting spree but still. Has that been tagged as a terrorist attack or just a disgruntled sports critic expressing his displeasure?

Oldnuke on September 24, 2013 at 6:01 PM

Ya – the Kenya terrorists used guns and hand grenades.
Boston marathon was pressure cooker bombs – and then guns in the getaway attempt.

Whatever the killers’ motives or methods may have been, the basic point is – that kind of mass attack has already happened here – and with the prevalence of “gun free zones” could easily happen again, to the scale of Kenya – unless we get rid of all these gun free zones where people keep getting klled.

dentarthurdent on September 24, 2013 at 6:29 PM

Let ‘em try this shite in America.

More specifically – let ‘em try it in any SOUTHERN state where men are still men.

HondaV65 on September 24, 2013 at 11:33 AM

And some of the “men” are women.

AesopFan on September 24, 2013 at 6:55 PM

The next time congress brings up a gun-control bill someone should attach an amendment requiring ‘gun-free zones’ to have metal detectors at every entrance.

agmartin on September 24, 2013 at 12:03 PM

Agreed.

If you are going to declare it so, then make it so.
And that includes the back-doors and delivery ports.

AesopFan on September 24, 2013 at 7:01 PM

Bumper Sticker of the Thread:
Celebrate diversity — with as many different calibers as you can get.

H/T:

Celebrate diversity!

AZCoyote on September 24, 2013 at 1:38 PM

Well I sure do.
As many different calibers as I can get….

dentarthurdent on September 24, 2013 at 2:15 PM

AesopFan on September 24, 2013 at 7:09 PM

One solution: take down the “gun free zone” signs.

More immediate fix: Walk right past the “No Guns Allowed” sign with your concealed firearm and get on with your shopping.

If there’s no metal detector, I’m going in. And if there is a metal detector, I will go in and ask if they have a secure means of checking my firearm at the security checkpoint.

Bruce MacMahon on September 24, 2013 at 7:22 PM

I will not set foot inside business that ban carry.

The Mall of America declared itself a “gun free zone” in response to the expansion of carry permits in Minnesota. Maybe they should rethink that policy in light of recent events.

TX-96 on September 24, 2013 at 7:32 PM

Bumper Sticker of the Thread:
Celebrate diversity — with as many different calibers as you can get.

AesopFan on September 24, 2013 at 7:09 PM

Glad you like it.
I have a t-shirt that basically says that.
It says “Celebrate Diversity” and has silhouettes of 56 different guns.
It’s one of my favorites that I got at a gun show.

dentarthurdent on September 24, 2013 at 7:47 PM

@Gatsu on September, I think that we are already a “Crime Free Zone!” So, I don’t think they are smart enough to draw the parallel….

rgranger on September 24, 2013 at 10:44 PM

But…but…I though Al Qaeda was on the run!

zoyclem on September 25, 2013 at 7:22 AM

There is a nearby mall, that put up the requisite sign, to forbid people with CCWs from carrying on their property. That was right after the CCW law was approved here in Texas. I refused to shop there then and refuse to shop there still. No other mall in my area forbids concealed carry, to my knowledge.

kjatexas on September 25, 2013 at 11:08 AM

The next time congress brings up a gun-control bill someone should attach an amendment requiring ‘gun-free zones’ to have metal detectors at every entrance.

agmartin on September 24, 2013 at 12:03 PM

Agreed.

If you are going to declare it so, then make it so.
And that includes the back-doors and delivery ports.

AesopFan on September 24, 2013 at 7:01 PM

I’d add to that routine inspections of tenants storage rooms and inventory. You can’t be too careful about who’s leasing space.

hawkeye54 on September 25, 2013 at 11:36 AM

The Mall of America declared itself a “gun free zone” in response to the expansion of carry permits in Minnesota. Maybe they should rethink that policy in light of recent events.

They should, but that would be too sensible for those responsible for that decision. They’ll take the chance with another needless tragedy I’d recon.

hawkeye54 on September 25, 2013 at 11:40 AM

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