When al-Shabaab mentioned, seemingly in passing, that they thought it would be great for someone to attack the Mall of America, US officials were mostly nonplussed by the news. They had, after all, been pretending to attack America’s malls for years.
Officials say that the FBI has been staging a large number of mock attacks on US malls since the Nairobi mall attack two years ago by al-Shabaab, designed to “test readiness” for any possible attacks.
The FBI even has a whole program designed just to improve mall security, and insists they are confident that the malls are secure, in spite of the putative threat.
Most officials aren’t envisioning any real changes as a result of the al-Shabaab comments, with the exception of DHS Director Jeh Johnson, who is still hoping to parlay the “threat” into a yes vote for funding his department later this week.