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ISIS Claims Responsibility for Minnesota Mall Knife Rampage

FBI: ‘We’re currently investigating this as a potential act of terrorism’

A video released from Daesh (or ISIS or 'Islamic State') shows militants executing 25 captives (Syrian army soldiers) in the ruins of the main Roman amphitheater in the ancient city of Palmyra, Syria, on July 3, 2015 /
A video released from ISIS shows militants executing 25 captive Syrian army soldiers in the ruins of the main Roman amphitheater in the ancient city of Palmyra, Syria, on July 3, 2015 / AP
• September 19, 2016 11:46 am

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The Islamic State terror group claimed responsibility for the knife rampage at a Minnesota mall on Saturday, according to an ISIS-linked news agency.

The jihadist group described the man who stabbed nine people before an off-duty police officer fatally shot him as a "soldier of the Islamic State" in a statement posted by the Amaq agency on Sunday.

"We’re currently investigating this as a potential act of terrorism, and I do say ‘potential,’" Richard Thornton, an FBI agent at the bureau’s Minneapolis office, said at a news conference.

"We don’t know whether the subject was in contact with, had connections with, or was inspired by a foreign terrorist organization," he continued.

St. Cloud Police Chief William Blair Anderson said on Sunday the department believed the suspect acted alone. Anderson told reporters the man referenced Allah during the attack.

The suspect’s identity had not been publicly disclosed Monday morning, but local religious leaders told NBC News he was Somali.

"The central Minnesota Somali community is in distress, and we are afraid of the consequences of this incident," Mohamoud Mohamed, executive director of the St. Cloud Area Somali Salvation Organization, said at a news conference.

Mohamed stressed that the central Minnesota Muslim community has no relationship with ISIS "or any other Islamic terrorist group."

"We are the victims of those terrorist groups," he said. "We are being made again to suffer for their acts."

Police and witnesses said the man was wearing a private security uniform when he entered Crossroads Mall on Saturday night and carried out a stabbing spree. None of the nine people wounded were inflicted with life-threatening injuries, and all but three victims were released from the hospital by Sunday afternoon, according to authorities. The attacker asked at least one individual if they were Muslim before stabbing, according to CNN.