September 23rd, 2013
02:55 AM ET

Kenya-style mall attack: Can it happen here?

t's hard to imagine a softer target than an enclosed, easy-to-enter space with large numbers of civilians, many of them children or elderly, milling about with no authority clearly in charge.

And the al Shabaab terrorist group that carried out this weekend's mall attack in Kenya is known to have recruited in the United States.

If you connect those dots, you get the kind of scenario that "keeps us up at night," as a federal law enforcement source told CNN's Pamela Brown: an attack at a shopping mall in the United States.

Can it happen here? Yes, say security experts, but it hasn't.

There have been shootings at U.S. malls, although not by terrorists. And there have been terror plots that were foiled.

But the U.S. has not witnessed anything close to the scope of the violent siege at Nairobi's Westgate mall.

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Filed under: U.S. • World
soundoff (20 Responses)
  1. Joey Isotta-Fraschini ©™

    Mall terror by Muslims has not yet come to the USA, but it will unless we increase surveillance–not decrease it–and have armed protection more ready than it was at the naval facility in Washington last week.

    September 23, 2013 at 3:25 am | Report abuse |
    • Hamsta

      Don't worry the Oba-me administration is going to make sure that happens by giving Muslim terrorists a free pass while he spies on his political opponents, labeling them terrorists and forcing Common Core down your child's throat.

      September 23, 2013 at 10:46 am | Report abuse |
    • Hamsta

      OAll that just so he and his party of liberal jackboot socialists and communists can demonize "assault riifles" and make another gun grab!

      September 23, 2013 at 11:27 am | Report abuse |
    • saywhat

      Probabality of a 'mall terror' by some of our very own is higher the way we have seen mass shootings and penchant for violence at home.
      That is what is more scary.

      September 23, 2013 at 11:53 am | Report abuse |
  2. chrissy

    Are you kidding @ Joey? Lol, when was the last time you were in a mall? We have mall terror already only its not by muslims, its by teenagers! And thats almost as bad!

    September 23, 2013 at 3:44 am | Report abuse |
  3. ronvan

    The simple answer to the question is YES, it can happen! The more difficult question is how do we TRY to prevent it?

    September 23, 2013 at 7:17 am | Report abuse |
    • saywhat

      The question@ronvan is by who? Not necessarily by 'muslim terrorists'.

      September 23, 2013 at 11:55 am | Report abuse |
  4. Sure it can

    I think the terrorist are raiding the convenience stores in the mail for ice tea and skittle, and getting hoodies at the clothes store, so they'll be defended by civil rights groups.

    September 23, 2013 at 7:50 am | Report abuse |
  5. rupert


    September 23, 2013 at 9:23 am | Report abuse |
  6. saywhat

    As for this AlShabab terrorist group, it reflects the failure of African Union and the Western powers to end 20 yrs of anarchy in the failed state of Somalia. Now criminals, murderers, mercenaries, those driven by extreme poverty and no livelihood are making these terror groups swell.

    September 23, 2013 at 11:58 am | Report abuse |
  7. saywhat


    September 23, 2013 at 12:03 pm | Report abuse |
  8. saywhat

    The phantom at CNN is now wide awake, won't be able to post perhaps for the rest of the day.

    September 23, 2013 at 12:06 pm | Report abuse |
  9. banasy©

    Oh. I'm blocked. Surprising.

    September 23, 2013 at 2:24 pm | Report abuse |
  10. banasy©

    Can it happen here? Yes. It has. It will. Fact of life, anymore.

    September 23, 2013 at 2:28 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Scottish Mama

    Yes, it probably will. I hope the guy or gal next to me has a conceal and carry permit.

    September 24, 2013 at 10:38 am | Report abuse |
  12. saywhat

    It just needs an assault rifle, couple hand guns and crazy.Or looking for glory or just for the heck of it @Scottish Mama. Both guns and crazy, we have plenty of.
    Parks, schools, theaters, malls. Vulnerable all.

    September 24, 2013 at 12:02 pm | Report abuse |
    • Scottish Mama

      So we need to identify crazy and keep it from having guns, before we take or curb the rights from the law abiding gun carrying people. Or vunerable to government? We cannot take out a oppressive govenment with a pee-shooter militia.

      September 24, 2013 at 12:13 pm | Report abuse |
    • Munire digneris me

      Your bunker in Idaho awaits. Do you think that even having every citizen armed to the teeth is going to work if the military wants to take us out? That's paranoid thinking straight from Faux news. It's utter BS.

      September 24, 2013 at 1:12 pm | Report abuse |
  13. saywhat

    Is that really you @Scottish Mama, your 12:13pm?
    We need to arm ourselves to take out an oppressive govt?

    September 24, 2013 at 2:02 pm | Report abuse |