People packed the Twin Cities’ Mall of America yesterday despite warnings from the Homeland Security department urging visitors to be “particularly careful” after a potential terrorist threat against the megamall, reports the St. Paul Pioneer Press. “I would say that if anyone is planning to go to the Mall of America today, they’ve got to be particularly careful,” U.S. Homeland Security secretary Jeh Johnson told CNN’s “State of the Union.” A video released Saturday night by the al-Shabaab group called for attacks in Canada, the United States and Britain, specifically naming the Mall of America.
A few visitors had second thoughts about whether to go to the mall. “We did think, ‘Do we go or not?’ ” said Mike Ericson, who was at the mall with his wife, two high school-age children and a foreign exchange student. The foreign exchange student, Maud, is returning to France next week. The Ericsons said that they felt comfortable knowing that the mall had beefed up security and that there was a police substation on the premises. Businessman Vijay Chandiramani has owned a jewelry kiosk in the mall since the day it opened in 1992. “Since 9/11 the mall has always been in the limelight,” he said. “After all, it put Minnesota on the map. Threats have come and gone. The mall has always been well prepared with drills and taking precautions, some visible and some invisible. I hope and pray nothing happens, but I do feel it is safe coming to work.”