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Minnesota mall stabbing could be realization of terror fears

By JEFF BAENEN and AMY FORLITI – ST. CLOUD, Minn. (AP) - The Latest on the knife attack at a Minnesota mall being investigated as a potential act of terrorism (all times local):

6:15 a.m.

Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton plans to travel to St. Cloud to meet with city officials about the weekend stabbing at a local mall that is being investigated as a potential act of terrorism.

Dayton and Lt. Gov. Tina Smith are scheduled to meet with St. Cloud Mayor Dave Kleis on Monday morning.

Authorities say seven men, one woman and a 15-year-old girl were stabbed and injured by a young Somali man who was dressed as a private security guard when he entered the Crossroads Center mall Saturday. He appeared to be wielding a kitchen knife.

The city's police chief said the man reportedly made at least one reference to Allah and asked a victim if he or she was Muslim before attacking. The rampage ended when the man was fatally shot by an off-duty police officer.

None of the victims suffered life-threatening injuries.

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1:20 a.m.

Authorities are investigating the stabbings of nine people at a central Minnesota mall as a potential act of terrorism, a finding that would be the realization of long-held fears of a domestic attack there.

The state is home to the nation's largest Somali community, which has been a target for terror recruiters in recent years. The possibility of an attack on U.S. soil has been a major concern for law enforcement.

The motive for Saturday's attack at a St. Cloud mall is still unclear, but FBI Special Agent-in-Charge Rick Thornton said Sunday the stabbings were being investigated as a "potential act of terrorism."

The Islamic State also claimed responsibility, though it wasn't immediately clear if the extremist group had planned the attack or even knew about it beforehand.

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