Late Saturday night, an unnamed attacker went on a stabbing rampage through a St. Cloud, Minnesota, mall. Eight people were wounded, and one remains in the hospital early Sunday.
The rampage only stopped after the attacker was shot dead by police. Police described the lead up to the attack in a statement, saying that the man “made a reference to Allah and asked at least one person if they were Muslims before he attacked.”
Although police said that they “knew the attacker” from previous encounters with police, these encounters, most of which were traffic related, never gave any warning as to the man’s intentions to carry out a stabbing attack.
As for the motives for the attack, St. Cloud Police chief William B. Anderson initially told the media:
‘What we know is it is a lone suspect who attacked at least eight people … whether that was a terrorist attack or not, I’m not willing to say that right now because we just don’t know.’
Anderson also noted that there remains “no imminent threat” to the city of St. Cloud.
Anderson’s statements on the attack came before the Islamic State terror group’s Amaq news agency posted a claim of responsibility for the attack, stating that the dead attacker was a “soldier of the Islamic State” who carried out the attack “in response to calls to target the citizens of countries belonging to the Crusader coalition.”
— Lisa Daftari (@LisaDaftari) September 18, 2016
The announcement of some kind of Islamic affiliation on the part of the attacker sent conservatives on Twitter into a mayhem, a mayhem fueled by their presidential candidate who has made his name in the field of national security with his absurdist proposal for a “total and complete” ban on Muslims entering the United States should he become president.
One of the top tweets to come back from a Twitter search for “minnesota mall” is one asking “why Hillary wants millions of [Muslims].”
To be sure, there already are millions of Muslims living in the United States, but don’t tell the Trump supporters on Twitter- they might freak out.
Another Twitter user tried to mock those who distance the religion of Islam from attacks carried out by Muslims, a concept foreign to most Trump supporters.
— Dr. Asim Yousafzai (@asimusafzai) September 18, 2016
The investigation remains ongoing into the Minnesota attack, as it does into Saturday’s other two incidents, a pipe bomb explosion in New Jersey and a dumpster explosion in New York City.