3rd Day for Hostage Situation at Nairobi, Kenya Mall

3rd Day for Hostage Situation at Nairobi, Kenya Mall

A hostage situation at a mall in Nairobi, Kenya is on it's 3rd day. Over 60 people have been killed in the attack and now authorities say they have made arrests.
A hostage situation at a mall in Nairobi, Kenya is on it's 3rd day.  Over 60 people have been killed in the attack and now authorities say they have made arrests.

The harrowing details of shoppers running from gunfire now has people wondering if a similar attack could happen in the United States.

The terrifying mall attack in Kenya carried out by a Somali terror group linked to Al Qaeda and hostile to the United States, has many US citizens concerned if a similar attack could happen here.

There have been attacks at American shopping malls in the past but those have been carried out by young lone gunmen with no apparent cause to promote.

In 2007, a 19 year old man killed 8 people and himself in Omaha, Nebraska.  That same year, an 18 year old man killed 5 people in Salt Lake City, Utah before he was killed by police.  Last year, weeks before Christmas, a 22 year old gunman killed 2 people and himself at a mall near Portland, Oregon.

It's preventing scenes like this one that keep FBI officials up at night and law enforcement officials say they have been successful at thwarting planned attacks before they happen.

A Somali citizen in Columbus, Ohio was sentenced to 10 years in prison in 2007 after admitting he sought training to carry out attacks on a mall.  A man in Rockford, Illinois was sentenced to 35 years in prison after plotting to set off grenades at a shopping mall.

"Soft targets are always attractive to terrorists because they're usually not defended."

Mall representatives in the US stress that security is front and center.  The Mall of America, one of the largest shopping centers in the country, holds lockdown drills twice a month.

Tenants and customers practice sheltering in back rooms of stores, aiming to prevent casualties in an attack.

"If something bad should happen here we don't want our response to start with, and law enforcement will be here and they will protect you.  We want you to know what can be done until law enforcement gets here."

Even with heightened security, experts say your best defense may be simply to be aware of your surroundings.

"For the average American citizen, you go to the grocery store.  You go to the gas station.  You go to a shopping mall.  You go to a movie theater.  Any one of those situations could make you vulnerable if other people or another person is out there determined to conduct an attack."
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