Somali jihadist group al-Shabaab has released a video threatening American and Jewish-owned shopping centres. London’s Oxford Street and the Westfield’s two malls in the UK capital are among those explicitly threatened. The group has been connected to last year’s Westgate Mall attack in Nairobi.
The National Counter Terrorism Security Office has issued a statement through the BCSC. Its recommendations to shopping centre managers and owners are:
- Review the procedures you already have in place including contingency planning
- Ensure staff vigilance and re-brief staff on procedures
- Report anything suspicious
Edward Cooke, the BCSC’s director of policy and public affairs said: “Shopping centres adopt a variety of tactics in order to keep these spaces safe. Some measures are visible to customers, such as security personnel presence and CCTV, however many are intentionally more discreet.
“All shopping centre owners and managers must strike a balance - maintaining appropriate and responsive safety measures while avoiding the creation of a ‘fortress mentality’.