FBI: St. Cloud Mall attack 'in part' motivated by extremist groups

The stabbing attack that injured ten shoppers at a St. Cloud mall was “at least in part” motivated by “inspiration from radical Islamic groups,” according to James Comey, the F.B.I. Director.

The director’s comments provide the first significant update on the investigation into the Crossroads Center attack since the investigation was taken over by the F.B.I. Joint Terrorism Task Force. Comey made the comments while testifying before the U.S. House Judiciary Committee.

When asked whether the stabbing was a terror attack, Comey replied, “we’re still working on it. It does look like at least in part [Dahir Adan] was motivated by some sort of inspiration from radical Islamic groups. Which groups, and how, we’re not sure of yet.”

While ISIS claimed responsibility for the stabbing attack, investigators have not definitively linked the attack to the terror group.

“They’ll claim responsibility. That isn’t dispositive for us because they’ll claim responsibility for any savagery they can get their name on, but we’re going through his entire electronic record and history of all of his associations to try and understand that,” Comey told lawmakers.

St. Cloud’s Somali-American and Muslim community members called for calm following the attack. Comey said community members were cooperative in the investigation, “very, very. Because they don’t want their sons or daughters involved with this craziness any more than anybody else,” Comey said.

A lawmaker also asked Comey why some of Minnesota's Somali-American men have tried to join terror groups. “I suspect it’s because it’s one of the few areas in the United States we have a large concentration susceptible to that recruiting,” Comey answered.

Friends and family of the attacker, Dahir Adan, said they are shocked by the allegations, and believe Adan was just at the mall to buy an Iphone.