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Latest updates on Minnesota mall stabbings, New York/New Jersey bombings and their possible links to terrorism




NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 18: New York Mayor Bill de Blasio (R) and New York Governor Andrew Cuomo (C) stand in front of a mangled dumpster while touring the site of an explosion that occurred on Saturday night on September 18, 2016 in the Chelsea neighborhood of New York City.
NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 18: New York Mayor Bill de Blasio (R) and New York Governor Andrew Cuomo (C) stand in front of a mangled dumpster while touring the site of an explosion that occurred on Saturday night on September 18, 2016 in the Chelsea neighborhood of New York City.
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A spate of weekend attacks that may be tied to terrorism flooded news headlines on Monday morning.

First, there was an explosion on the route of a charity race in Seaside Park, New Jersey on Saturday morning. No injuries were reported since the road was empty at the time of the blast. Later that day, nine people were stabbed at a mall by a man with a kitchen knife in St. Cloud, Minnesota, about an hour and a half outside of the Minneapolis-St. Paul area.

An off-duty police officer shot and killed the attacker, who entered the mall dressed as a security guard. He’s been identified as 22-year-old Dahir Adan, a Somali-American who was going to college in St. Cloud and working for a private security firm. Fortunately, none of the victims’ injuries appear to be life-threatening. A media outlet linked to the Islamic State says Adan was acting on behalf of the militant group.  

Around the same time of the Minnesota attack, a pressure cooker bomb exploded in the Manhattan neighborhood of Chelsea, injuring 29 people. Several more explosive devices were found in Manhattan and Elizabeth, New Jersey, where the suspect in those bombings was arrested this morning after a shootout with police. He has been identified as Ahmad Rahami, a 28-year-old U.S. citizen of Afghan descent. Police in New York and New Jersey believe Rahami is connected to the devices found in both states.

While New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio called the attack ‘intentional,’ but stopped short of labeling it terrorism.

Guests: 

Craig McCarthy, reporter for New Jersey Advance Media, which includes NJ.com and The Star-Ledger, New Jersey’s largest daily newspaper; he is in Elizabeth, NJ today covering the arrest of the bombing suspect; he tweets @createcraig

Tim Nelson, reporter for Minnesota Public Radio news who has been covering the attack at the Crossroads Center Mall in St. Cloud (St. Cloud is about an hour and a half Northwest of Minneapolis-St. Paul); he tweets @timnelson_mpr

Colin P. Clarke, political scientist at the Rand Corporation whose research focuses on terrorism and insurgency; he tweets @ColinPClarke