Islamist terrorists have called for attacks on London’s Oxford Street and the Westfield shopping centres in the latest jihadist threat to the UK.
A video released by the Somalia-based fanatics al-Shabaab called on its followers to “hasten to heaven” by attacking some of the country’s busiest shopping areas.
A terrorist dressed in army fatigues and his face covered then warned: “Can you imagine what a dedicated mujahideen (soldier) in the West could do to the American and Jewish-owned shopping centres across the world.”
He names Oxford Street and the two Westfield centres in London, alongside coordinates for them, adding: “What would be the implications of such an attack, one can only imagine and all it takes is a man with firm determination, of which our Muslim ummah (community) has plenty of. So hurry up, hasten towards heaven and do not hesitate.”
He warned that disbelievers had no right to feel safe.
Jeh Johnson, the US homeland security secretary, said the call for local-based militants to attack prominent shopping districts, also including the giant Mall of America in Minnesota and the West Edmonton Mall in Canada, represented a new evolution in terror...
Asked specifically about the threat to Mall of America, one of the world's largest shopping complexes, he said: "Anytime a terrorist organisation calls for an attack on a specific place, we've got to take that seriously. I would say that if anyone is planning to go to the Mall of America today, they've got to be particularly careful.”
Minnesota is home to a sizeable Somali population and US intelligence has said that dozens of people from the Minneapolis-St. Paul area, many of them Somali-Americans, have travelled or attempted to travel overseas to support groups such as Islamic State or al Shabaab since 2007.
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