The New Jersey Department of Homeland Security is urging malls across the state to increase security after a recent Germany plot.
The alert on Thursday cited “foreign terrorist calls to attack shopping malls in the West, which has been circulating in propaganda since 2015,” and the closure of the Limbecker Platz mall in the German city of Essen on March 11 after German police received a tip that ISIS followers were plotting an attack.
There is “no specific or credible threats to New Jersey,” New Jersey Department of Homeland Security said in a news release.
German police arrested two Kosovar brothers allegedly plotting to attack CentrO mall in Oberhausen in December 2016. The brothers were later released due to a lack of evidence.
Dahir Adan attacked and wounded 20 people with a knife at the Crossroads Center shopping mall in St. Cloud, Minnesota in September 2016. ISIS claimed responsibility for the attack.
Homeland Security offered these risk mitigation measures to mall owners:
- Increase presence of security personnel to deter and prevent an attack. Visible uniformed security personnel at public entrances and on patrol throughout the facility can deter attacks, while non-uniformed security personnel can monitor mall staff and customers for suspicious behavior.
- Control non-public access points and restricted areas. Mall owners should regulate access to non-public entrances via secure locking mechanisms, and they should use video surveillance to monitor all entrances and restricted areas for suspicious behavior and unauthorized access.
- Train mall employees and security personnel on active shooter response. All full- and part-time employees should receive active shooter training during new-hire orientation. Active shooter response plans should be exercised with staff and security personnel quarterly.
- Educate mall staff and customers on how to detect and report suspicious activity. Mall owners should develop an awareness campaign focused on indicators of suspicious behavior and terrorist surveillance. Information should include See Something, Say Something materials for display throughout facilities.
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