Sunday 19 November 2017

Islamists declare shopping mall war

Shoppers walk along Oxford Street in central London, as the U.S. homeland security chief said on Sunday he takes seriously an apparent threat by Somali-based Islamist militants against prominent shopping sites in the West including the London's Oxford Street and the Mall of America in Minnesota and urged people there to be careful (REUTERS/Neil Hall)
Shoppers walk along Oxford Street in central London, as the U.S. homeland security chief said on Sunday he takes seriously an apparent threat by Somali-based Islamist militants against prominent shopping sites in the West including the London's Oxford Street and the Mall of America in Minnesota and urged people there to be careful (REUTERS/Neil Hall)

Tom Whitehead

Islamist terrorists have called for attacks on London's Oxford Street in the latest jihadist threat to Britain.

A video released by the Somalia-based fanatics al-Shabaab called on its followers to "hasten to heaven" by attacking some of Britain's shopping areas.

It also threatened venues in America and Canada as well as "Jewish-owned" centres.

Counter-terrorism police in Britain were assessing the video while the head of US homeland security warned shoppers to be "particularly careful".

The video, which lasts more than an hour and was released over the weekend, centred on the fall out from al-Shabaab's attack on the Westgate shopping centre in Kenya in 2013 that left 62 people dead and more than 100 injured. 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. So hurry up, hasten towards heaven and do not hesitate."

A Scotland Yard spokeswoman said: "The MPS Counter Terrorism Command is aware of the video and is assessing the content. We remind the public that downloading extremist material may constitute an offence."

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. "This latest statement from al Shabaab reflects the new phase," he said. (© Daily Telegraph, London)

Irish Independent

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