By Suzanne Monaghan
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – The terror group al-Shabaab has released a video online calling for attacks on western malls, including the Mall of America in Minneapolis. But what is the potential for an attack in this region?READ MORE: Mount Laurel Police Searching For Missing 6-Year-Old Grace Craytor Reportedly Taken By Mother Without Consent
Ed Turzanksi, John Templeton Fellow of the Foreign Policy Research Institute and Scholar in Residence at La Salle University, says the Mall of America is not the focus simply because of its size. He says it’s because Minnesota has a large Somali population and al-Shabaab has heavily recruited in that area:
“In terms of Philadelphia, never say never, but we are very far removed from this situation and I think that people ought not presume that we are a target.”READ MORE: No Toll Hikes On Delaware Port Authority Bridges In 2022
But Turzanksi says people should always be aware:
“We ought to keep in mind, we are on the I-95 corridor between New York and Washington, which are certainly ahead of us in terms of terror threat status and likely target.”MORE NEWS: Missing 6-Year-Old Found Safe, Stolen Vehicle Found In Checkers Parking Lot, Police Say
Turzanski adds that counter terror and law enforcement officials are on heightened awareness and alert.