Mall attacker was emotionless, victim says


Associated Press

ST. CLOUD, MINN.

One of the victims wounded in a stabbing at a central Minnesota mall says the man who carried out the attack showed no emotion and his eyes looked blank.

Ryan Schliep, one of 10 people who suffered wounds that were not life-threatening before the attacker was fatally shot, told WCCO-TV that the man “just walked right at me” before striking quickly and penetrating the skin of his scalp.

“He looked just blank in the eyes like he wasn’t even there,” Schliep said before being released from a hospital.

Authorities are treating Saturday’s stabbings at Crossroads Center Mall as a possible act of terrorism, in part because an Islamic State-run news agency claimed that the attacker was a “soldier of the Islamic State” who had heeded the group’s calls for attacks in countries that are part of a U.S.-led anti-IS coalition.

But it wasn’t immediately known whether the extremist group had planned the attack or knew about it beforehand. St. Cloud Police Chief Blair Anderson said Monday the attack appeared to be the work of a single individual and there was no sign that the attacker, identified by his father as 20-year-old Dahir Adan, was radicalized or communicated with any terrorist group.

Because Adan was Somali, leaders of the state’s large Somali community acknowledged the prospect of a “long winter” for their people after the stabbings, but warned not to quickly accept the terrorism connection.

“We cannot give ISIS and other terrorist organizations more air time and propaganda without real facts,” said Jaylani Hussein, executive director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations’ Minnesota chapter.

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