Dahir Adan

Dahir Adan was the suspect in the September 17, 2016, stabbing spree in St. Cloud, Minnesota, allegedly injuring 10 people at a mall in before being shot dead by an off-duty police officer. Hours after the attack, ISIS claimed responsibility through its Amaq news agency, saying that Adan was “a soldier of the Islamic State” who had “carried out the operation in response to the [call to attack] citizens of countries belonging to the [international] coalition [against ISIS].”“Dahir Adan: What we know,” Star Tribune, September 19, 2016, http://www.startribune.com/dahir-adan-what-we-know/394013681. Law enforcement has since been investigating the attack in St. Cloud as a potential act of terrorism, but have not determined whether Adan had direct contact with the terrorist organization.Joe Sterling, Max, Blau, and Rosa Flores, “Stabbing Suspect Had Gone to Mall to Buy an iPhone, Source Says,” CNN, September 19, 2016, http://www.cnn.com/2016/09/19/us/minnesota-mall-stabbing;
Mitch Smirh and Richard Perez Pina, “Friends Say Minnesota Attacker Was ‘Normal American Kid,’” New York Times, September 19, 2016, http://www.nytimes.com/2016/09/20/us/obama-st-cloud-minnesota.html.

The attacks in St. Cloud began at approximately 8:15 p.m. on September 17, 2016, when a man later identified as Adan entered the Crossroads Center mall in St. Cloud, Minnesota, 70 miles northwest of Minneapolis.“Dahir Adan: What we know,” Star Tribune, September 19, 2016, http://www.startribune.com/dahir-adan-what-we-know/394013681;
Kristine Guerra, Jessica Contrera, and Brian Murphy, “Minnesota Stabbing Survivor: ‘He Looked Me Dead in the Eyes,’” Washington Post, September 19, 2016, https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/post-nation/wp/2016/09/18/man-shot-dead-after-stabbing-8-people-in-a-minnesota-mall/?utm_term=.f348ed564cc6.
Adan soon began stabbing people in the mall’s corridors, reportedly referencing Allah during the attacks and asking at least one victim if he was Muslim before attacking him.“Dahir Adan: What we know,” Star Tribune, September 19, 2016, http://www.startribune.com/dahir-adan-what-we-know/394013681. Adan’s victims—eight men and two women—ranged from ages 15 to 53.Mitch Smirh and Richard Perez Pina, “Friends Say Minnesota Attacker Was ‘Normal American Kid,’” New York Times, September 19, 2016, http://www.nytimes.com/2016/09/20/us/obama-st-cloud-minnesota.html;
“Dahir Adan: What we know,” Star Tribune, September 19, 2016, http://www.startribune.com/dahir-adan-what-we-know/394013681.
Adan was shot and killed by an off-duty police officer inside the mall’s Macy’s department store minutes after the assault began.“Dahir Adan: What we know,” Star Tribune, September 19, 2016, http://www.startribune.com/dahir-adan-what-we-know/394013681;
Ginger Adams Otis, “Timeline of Terror Attacks from Bombings in New York and New Jersey to Stabbings in Minnesota,” New York Daily News, September 19, 2016, http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/manhattan/timeline-terror-attack-nyc-n-bombs-minnesota-stabbings-article-1.2798864.

The son of Somali refugees, Adan had shown few signs of radicalization, according to several community leaders and classmates who knew him. One community leader, a close friend of Adan’s family, said that Adan had been more interested in sports than religion, describing him as “the most assimilated kid in the neighborhood.”“Dahir Adan: What we know,” Star Tribune, September 19, 2016, http://www.startribune.com/dahir-adan-what-we-know/394013681. Two community leaders nonetheless claimed that Adan had been acting strangely before the attack.“Dahir Adan: What we know,” Star Tribune, September 19, 2016, http://www.startribune.com/dahir-adan-what-we-know/394013681.

Adan was born in Kenya and had immigrated with his family to the United States when Adan was a child.“Dahir Adan: What we know,” Star Tribune, September 19, 2016, http://www.startribune.com/dahir-adan-what-we-know/394013681;
Kristine Guerra, Jessica Contrera, and Brian Murphy, “Minnesota Stabbing Survivor: ‘He Looked Me Dead in the Eyes,’” Washington Post, September 19, 2016, https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/post-nation/wp/2016/09/18/man-shot-dead-after-stabbing-8-people-in-a-minnesota-mall/?utm_term=.f348ed564cc6.
Prior to the stabbings, Adan had been studying information systems at St. Cloud State University, last enrolling for classes in spring 2016.“Dahir Adan: What we know,” Star Tribune, September 19, 2016, http://www.startribune.com/dahir-adan-what-we-know/394013681. Adan had also worked as a security guard before quitting his job with Securitas global security firm in June 2016.Mitch Smirh and Richard Perez Pina, “Friends Say Minnesota Attacker Was ‘Normal American Kid,’” New York Times, September 19, 2016, http://www.nytimes.com/2016/09/20/us/obama-st-cloud-minnesota.html. Adan had no prior history of violent attacks, though he did have minor traffic violations on his record.Kristine Guerra, Jessica Contrera, and Brian Murphy, “Minnesota Stabbing Survivor: ‘He Looked Me Dead in the Eyes,’” Washington Post, September 19, 2016, https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/post-nation/wp/2016/09/18/man-shot-dead-after-stabbing-8-people-in-a-minnesota-mall/?utm_term=.f348ed564cc6.

 
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