January 26, 2018 10:55 PM
On Thursday, 20-year-old Mahad Abdiaziz Adbiraham pleaded guilty to stabbing two men at the Mall of America.
The incident occurred on Nov. 12, where authorities say he stabbed two brothers in a dressing room at the mall's Macy's.
At the plea hearing Thursday, Abdiraham's attorney read a statement — which is public record — to the courtroom, which explained why he attacked the two men.
In the statement, Abdiraham said he went to the Mall of America to answer the "call for jihad by the Chief of Believer, Abu-bakr Al-baghdadi, may Allah protect him, and by the Mujahiden of the Islamic State."
The statement added, "I understand that the two men I stabbed know and have explained the reason for my attack, and I am here reaffirming that it was indeed an act of Jihad in the way of Allah."
Abdiraham also said in the statement that Americans will not be safe as long as "your country is at war with Islam."
Omar Jamal, an activist with a Somali watchdog group, said he is aware of the statement.
"This is a widespread sentiment with Somali youth," he said.
Jamal said the federal government's effort to make it difficult for would-be jihadists to travel abroad and join a terrorist group has had unintended consequences locally.
"What is very concerning in this instance, is the fact that youth are exploring more 'How can I do something here, what weapons are accessible,'" he said.
A spokesman for the FBI said the agency is aware of the statement, but could not comment.
A representative for the Bloomington Police Department said it doesn't condone any act when people are hurt or could have been killed.
Abdiraham's public defender declined to comment.
The two victims are out of the country, but court documents say they plan to return in time for Abdiraham's sentencing in February.
If authorities determine the stabbing was an act of terrorism, there could be more legal consequences for Abdirahahm.
Updated: January 26, 2018 10:55 PM
Created: January 26, 2018 05:32 PM
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