Remember the young Minneapolis man who slashed two brothers inside Macy’s at the Mall of America last November, and how the police referred to the incident as an “interrupted theft”?
So much for that theory; last week, Mahad A. Abdiraham, 20, admitted responsibility for the attack but offered a different reason for slicing two young men, one suffering cuts to the bone and the other needing dozens of stitches: he was answering the “Call for Jihad” from the leader of Islamic State.
As the Minneapolis Star-Tribune reports, Abdiraham made this statement during his guilty plea:
I went to Mall of America to answer the call for Jihad by the Chief of the Believers, Abu-Bakr al-Baghdadi — may Allah protect him — and by the Mujahiden of the Islamic State [ISIS]. … I am here reaffirming that it was indeed an act of Jihad in the way of Allah. … I want the reason for my attack to be clear to this court and to the public, so that you may understand that you will never be safe as long as your country is at war with Islam. And that the threat of death [or] imprisonment will never deter us from fighting for the sake of Allah.
On November 12, Alexander Sanchez joined members of his family at Macy’s and was exiting a dressing room when he attempted to move Abdiraham out of his way. Abdiraham reacted by slashing him with an 8-inch knife. Sanchez’s brother John and another family member intervened; John Sanchez grabbed the knife as he was sliced on his hands and his back; others joined the fray and subdued Abdiraham.
According to the Star-Tribune, Alexander Sanchez’s head was scarred and his arms were cut to the bone in the attack, precipitating a blood transfusion; his older brother needed dozens of stitches to close his wounds.
Cindy Leon, the brothers’ aunt, stated, “This evil human being was trying to kill Alex and John because of his stupid beliefs. I want the world to know the truth. … Everyone needs to know this was a terrorist attack.” She added that Alex Sanchez “can’t move one side of his face” and is undergoing physical and psychological therapy. Leon said that when Abdiraham made his statement, she said to him, “Don’t you feel something?” She said, “He just laughed.”