The NYPD is on alert following a threat against the United States purportedly by Somalia’s al-Qaida-linked rebel group al-Shabab.
A video released over the weekend urged Muslims to attack shopping malls in the U.S., Canada, Britain and other Western countries.
The threat came in the final minutes of a more than hour-long video 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 suburban Minneapolis, as well as the West Edmonton Mall in Canada and the Westfield mall in Stratford, England.
The authenticity of the video could not be immediately verified by The Associated Press.
Following the threat, the NYPD issued a statement saying they were aware of the video and have taken steps to ensure the safety of New Yorkers.
“We are aware of the recent ‘threat’ and we have been in touch with our international and federal liaisons. Although there is no direct threats against New York City, as well as no credible intelligence of such, we have taken appropriate precautionary measures, such as alerting our Critical Response Vehicles and our ‘Hercules’ (special counter-terrorism) Teams. This is something we regularly do in response to terror incidents/threats in other areas of the world that may impact New York City,” the statement from NYPD Deputy Commissioner of Public Information Stephen Davis said.
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