DHS chief Jeh Johnson is sending strongly mixed signals today on the al-Shabaab message calling for an attack on the Mall of America, saying there is “no credible threat” against the mall itself, but using the non-credible threat try to justify his budget.
Johnson went on to insist the threat proved it was “imperative” to get the DHS budget rushed through Congress. The DHS budget is due to expire Friday, and he’s been using every pretext of a threat to argue for Congress to approve it.
The Mall of America has insisted it is taking the threat seriously and has beefed up security, though Johnson’s insistence that there was no credible threat appeared to be confirmed by other officials, who believe al-Shabaab itself doesn’t really have the capability of hitting the mall.
Whether the threat is credible or not, there’s no reason to think the Department of Homeland Security would be the ones resolving the threat, and Johnson’s eagerness to take point in the public response is largely political, aiming to get his budget through Congress.