ISIS Claims Minn. Attacker Was Its 'Soldier'
Only 1 of 8 stabbing victims remains in hospital
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Sep 18, 2016 10:59 AM CDT
People stand near the entrance on the north side of Crossroads Center mall between Macy's and Target as officials investigate a reported multiple stabbing incident, Saturday, Sept. 17, 2016, in St. Cloud,...   (Dave Schwarz)
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(Newser) – An Islamic State-run news agency claims the man who stabbed and wounded eight people at a mall in Minnesota before being shot dead by an off-duty police officer was a "soldier of the Islamic State." The Rasd news agency reported the claim on Sunday, reports the AP, saying the attacker had heeded calls from the extremist group for attacks in countries that are part of a US-led anti-ISIS coalition. It was not immediately clear if the extremist group had planned the attack or even knew about it beforehand. ISIS has encouraged so-called "lone wolf" attacks. It has also claimed past attacks that are not believed to have been planned by its central leadership.

All eight victims from Saturday's attack were treated at a hospital for wounds that weren't life-threatening and all but one of them were later released. The FBI says it is assisting local police in the investigation. Like the police, Minnesota FBI spokesman Kyle Loven declined to say Sunday if investigators believe Saturday night's attack at the Crossroads Center mall in St. Cloud was a terrorist act. Authorities say a man dressed as a security guard stabbed eight people and reportedly mentioned Allah and asked a victim if they were Muslim before attacking them.