Mall Attacker Was 'Most Assimilated Kid in Neighborhood'

Dahir Adan worked as a security guard
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Sep 20, 2016 1:03 AM CDT
Minn. Mall Attacker Worked as Security Guard
People stand near the entrance of the Crossroads Center mall as officials investigate a multiple stabbing incident on Saturday in St. Cloud, Minn.   (Dave Schwarz)

He was a recent college student with an interest in computers who had worked part time as a private security guard. He was said to be an honor student in high school. And he had nothing more than a minor traffic citation on his record. But on Saturday, for reasons still unclear, authorities say Dahir Adan put on a security guard uniform and went into a Minnesota mall armed with a kitchen knife. In an attack that took just minutes, he injured 10 before he was shot and killed by an off-duty police officer. ISIS claimed Adan was its "soldier," and the FBI is digging into his background and looking at his social media accounts and electronic devices for clues, the AP reports.

"As we mourn the death of our son, Dahir Adan ... we are in deep shock as everyone else is in the state of Minnesota," his family said in a statement. Authorities have released little information about Adan, 20, but they say they're investigating the attacks as a potential act of terrorism. Jama Alimad, a Somali community advocate and friend of the family, tells the Star Tribune that Adan was more into sports than religion, describing him as "the most assimilated kid in the neighborhood." "He was an A student. He was a tutor. He was employed," Alimad says. If the stabbings are ultimately deemed a terrorist act, it would be the first carried out by a Somali on US soil, the AP notes. (Read more Minnesota stories.)

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