The FBI has confirmed that Dahir Ahmed Adan, the Somali immigrant who stabbed nine people at a Minnesota mall on September 17, was “radicalized” by Muslim terrorists. In addition, the agency released graphic videos taken at the scene at the St. Cloud shopping mall when he slashed and stabbed 10 innocent people. Eventually, Adan was shot to death by an off-duty police officer, Jason Falconer, who was on the scene. Falconer shot the assailant six times as Adan repeatedly tried to attack him.
Not long after the attack became known to the public, the Islamic State jihadi organization stated that the stabbing was committed by a “soldier” in the movement. Law enforcement is still looking into Adan’s background and motivations. According to representatives of the local immigrant Somali community, Adan was a high-achieving college student. At a news conference, FBI agent Rick Thornton said, "He went from being an excellent student with a high GPA to flunking out of college almost overnight." After the attack, Adan’s father expressed disbelief that his son was responsible for the rampage. Some members of the Somali community expressed disbelief, after the attack, that Adan's behavior amounted to terrorism.
Currently, the FBI is examining data found in digital format, social media, and elsewhere, while technicians are seeking to unlock Adan's locked iPhone. Agent Thornton added that Adan had recently shown "an increased interest in Islam" that he had not expressed before. Thornton said
"His actions were consistent with the philosophies of violent Islamic groups." Adan, he said, was "radicalized either with the influence of others or on his own."
Officer Falconer, who has been deemed a hero, identified himself to Adan as a police officer and repeatedly asked him to drop his two knives, according to Stearns County Attorney Janelle Kendall, who is evaluating the officer's conduct. Adan asked Falconer whether he was a Muslim. When Falconer answered “no,” Adan turned away and revealed the two steak knives he had used to wound his victims. When he refused to drop the knives, he then attacked Falconer who shot him repeatedly. Adan died on the scene. Kendall said that Falconer’s actions were "justified and lawful," and has closed her investigation. However, a federal probe continues.
Investigators have looked into Adan’s behavior, movements, and statements prior to the attack and have concluded that his actions were premeditated. Adan was employed as a security guard and was wearing his uniform when he left home for the shopping mall where he carried out the attack. He told his supervisor that he would not return for his next shift. Immediately after arriving at the mall, a clerk at a store Adan frequented told him "see you later." Adan responded "you won't be seeing me again."
Haji Yusuf, a Muslim man who is the community director of #unitecloud, a St. Cloud group that claims to promote cultural understanding, told the DemocracyNow! Website that many members of the Somali community have called him to report harassment after the attack, while others are keeping their children out of school. "Even for me, I had to go pick up milk for my two-year-old because my wife was a little scared to go out that night." As in similar instances, spokespersons for the Muslim community relativized the attack now known to be an act of terror. Yusuf said in his interview with DemocracyNow that Adan’s act does not define his entire community. He compared it to a kidnapping by Dan Heinrich in Minnesota and said that no one asked whether Heinrich was a Christian when news of his crime became public.