The city is Bloomington, Minnesota — as in the home of the Mall of America.
The shopping saturnalia is the Great American Melting Pot. It’s so large, seven Yankee Stadiums, 32 Boeing 747s or 258 Statue of Liberties (on her side) could fit inside. According to CNN and U.S. Department of Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson, this fact makes it a prime target for terrorist groups like Al-Shabaab:
“If anyone is planning to go to the Mall of America today, they’ve got to be particularly careful,” Johnson said. “There will be enhanced security there, but public vigilance, public awareness and public caution in situations like this is particularly important, and it’s the environment we’re in, frankly.”
In a further interview on his media tour with ABC News, Johnson advised this is new kind of threat to our native soil.
“[This is a] new phase [in] terms of the global terrorism threat … that is more complex, more decentralized, more diffused. … The reason I think we’re all concerned about this is because it encourages strike with very little notice to our intelligence community, our law enforcement community here at home.”
It’s not the first time the Mall of America has been targeted, and it almost certainly won’t be the last. In the meantime, the Mall’s communications team might need to work a bit more than usual to convince customers to visit:
While the business has not directly addressed Johnson’s statements, it has witnessed and responded to an increase in related “jokes” on social media: