No terrorist threats made against Westfield Trumbull mall, but police vigilant
No specific terrorist threats have been made against the Westfield Trumbull mall but local police and other agencies are taking steps to ensure safety there, according to Trumbull Police Lt. Leonard Scinto.
According to The Washington Post, a video released Saturday and purported to be from the Somali militant group Al-Shabaab, called for attacks on malls in the United States, Canada and Britain. The video used footage of the 2013 attack on the Westgate Mall in Nairobi and specifically mentioned the Mall of America, in Bloomington, Minn.; West Edmonton Mall in Canada; and Westfield mall in Stratford, England, among others, as potential targets.
The Trumbull mall is also owned by Westfield.
“The Trumbull Police, along with the management of the Westfield Trumbull shopping mall are aware of the current threats made by terrorist organizations,” Trumbull police said in a release Tuesday.
Even though no specific threats have been made, police said they are working with Westfield management and other law enforcement agencies to take steps to ensure and safe and secure shopping environment.
“Some of these steps will be visible and others will not,” police said. “It is important for everyone to be vigilant and report any activity they feel is suspicious as soon as possible.”
At the Westfield Connecticut Post mall in Milford, local police have also said no direct threats have been made but they are taking steps to ensure safety as well.
Last May, Trumbull police, working with FBI and Connecticut State Police, staged a large-scale training exercise, simulating a complex attack, at the Westfield mall, after hours.
It was one of the first drills the FBI conducted statewide and nationwide as part of a final phase of the “Complex Mall Attack Initiative” to promote preparedness.
At the time, Deputy Chief Glenn Byrnes said it was important to work with other agencies, especially at an area as large as the mall.
“We have worked with the mall for many years now and emergency management has worked with the mall to ensure all precautions are taken on a regular basis,” Byrnes said last May. “This was going well beyond that. The mall is one of our biggest areas of concern with the largest population at any given time. By working together it prepares us for any type of event.”