Chicago-area mall manager says ‘no imminent threat’ after new terror video

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SKOKIE, Ill. -- A new video from the African terror group Al-Shabaab calls upon so-called “lone wolf” terrorists to carry out attacks on shopping malls in America, Canada and Britain.
The video identifies mall manager Westfield as a potential target.
There is no specific threat to any Chicago area malls but Westfield operates the Old Orchard shopping center in Skokie, the Hawthorn shopping center in Vernon Hills and the Fox Valley shopping center in Aurora.
This afternoon, Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson, while talking about a possible department shutdown over congressional funding reiterated what he told CNN on Sunday.
“I would say that if anyone was planning to go to the Mall of America today they have to be particularly careful,” he said.  “There will be enhanced security there that will be apparent.”
Westfield released a statement saying, “There is no evidence of an imminent threat to our shopping centres but as always Westfield Corporation will take every available step to keep our shopping centres safe for staff, retailers and customers.
Westfield Corporation’s policy is to not publicly discuss security procedures, however our heads of security in the US and UK continue to coordinate their activities with police and government agencies.
As usual significant resources continue to be devoted to security arrangements in our shopping centres and they continue to operate as normal.”
The threat by the al-Qaida affiliate came in the final minutes of a more than hour-long video released Saturday in which the extremists also warned Kenya of more attacks like the September 2013 assault on the Westgate Mall in Nairobi in which 67 people were killed.
The masked narrator concluded by calling on Muslims to attack shopping malls, specifically naming the Mall of America in the Minneapolis suburb of Bloomington, as well as the West Edmonton Mall in Canada and the Westfield mall in Stratford, England.
The Bloomington Police Department issued a statement late Sunday in partnership with the FBI and state law enforcement saying federal, state and local agencies are aware of what it called the "recently released propaganda video." It said there was "no credible threat" associated with Mall of America, though it said additional security measures are in place. The mall is one of the largest in the nation.

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