Islamic State Newspaper Praises Minnesota Mall Attacker, Ignores NYC Bomber

Islamic State jihadis

The Islamic State (ISIS/ISIL), in the latest edition of its weekly Arabic language newspaper al-Naba, praised the men behind last weekend’s Minnesota mall stabbings and the Orlando massacre in June, but they did not mention the suspect linked to the bombings in New York and New Jersey.

The Islamic State did claim to be affiliated to Dahir Adan, a man of Somali descent who was admitted into the U.S. as a refugee and was killed by an off-duty police officer after allegedly stabbing 10 people at a Minnesota mall last Saturday.

He reportedly asked at least one of the victims whether they were Muslim before he attacked them and also allegedly shouted “Allah” as he carried out the crimes.

ISIS also claimed responsibility for the Orlando gay club shooting by Omar Mateen, a U.S. citizen born to Afghan parents. He killed 49 people and wounded 53 others before he was killed in a shootout with police.

Federal authorities, based on a journal found on him after he was captured, believe Ahmad Rahami, suspected of carrying out the bombings in New Jersey and New York that wounded 29 people, may have been inspired by al-Qaeda and ISIS.

He also reportedly expressed opposition to the U.S. military actions in Afghanistan and Syria in the journal.

However, no specific jihadist group has claimed to be affiliated to the individual, who is a naturalized citizen born in Afghanistan. It is likely that he entered the country as an asylee like his father, but that remains uncertain. Both refugees and asylees are provided a pathway to citizenship.

Only the Afghan Taliban has overtly stated it had nothing to do with the bomber. ISIS and its rival al-Qaeda have remained silent.

In its newspaper al-Naba, ISIS made no mention of him.

The jihadist group was quick to claim responsibility for the Minnesota attack and the Orlando Massacre, issuing a statement nearly a day after each attack through the ISIS-linked news outlet, the Amaq agency.

Last Sunday, referring to the Minnesota attack, the ISIS-linked statement said:

The executor of the stabbing attacks in Minnesota yesterday was a soldier of the Islamic State and carried out the operation in response to the citizens of countries belonging to the crusader coalition.

Given Rahami’s travels to areas in Afghanistan and Pakistan known as Taliban and al-Qaeda hotbeds, some analysts have suggested it is likely he is connected to al-Qaeda.

However, that terrorist group has taken no responsibility for the attack as it has done in the past.


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