Minnesota mall attacker was 'radicalised': FBI

Mall attacker Dahir Ahmed Adan in a photo from social media.
Mall attacker Dahir Ahmed Adan in a photo from social media.PHOTO: AFP PHOTO / OFF

CHICAGO (AFP) - The Somali immigrant who stabbed 10 people at a Minnesota mall before he was fatally shot by an off-duty police officer was "radicalised," the US authorities said on Thursday (Oct 6).

They released graphic videos of the Sept 17 attack, showing parts of 20-year-old Dahir Ahmed Adan's rampage through the Crossroads Centre mall, and his fatal confrontation with off-duty officer Jason Falconer.

All 10 people survived their injuries. Falconer shot Adan six times as he repeatedly tried to attack the officer, the authorities said.

Soon after the rampage, the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) group said it was carried out by an ISIS "soldier," appearing to claim credit. However, the federal authorities on Thursday said they are still investigating Adan's motives and life.

The immigrant Somali community where he lived in St Cloud described him as a high-achieving college student.

"He went from being an excellent student with a high GPA to flunking out of college almost overnight," FBI Special Agent Rick Thornton told a news conference.

The FBI is sifting through digital, social media and other data, and trying to access Adan's locked iPhone, he added.

Adan had shown "an increased interest in Islam" in the last several months that he had not expressed before, Thornton said.

"His actions were consistent with the philosophies of violent Islamic groups," Thornton said, adding that Adan was "radicalised either with the influence of others or on his own."

Falconer, who has been hailed as a hero, identified himself as police officer and repeatedly asked Adan to drop his two knives, according to Janelle Kendall, the Stearns County Attorney charged with evaluating the officer's conduct.

His actions were "justified and lawful," she said, announcing the close of her investigation, while the federal probe continues.

The authorities have pieced together a detailed account of Adan's movements and statements prior to the rampage they say show his actions were premeditated.

He remained in his security guard uniform after he came home from work, having told his boss he wouldn't return for his next shift, Thornton said.

Minutes before arriving at the mall, when a clerk at a convenience store Adan frequented told him "see you later," he responded "you won't be seeing me again."