Business as usual despite threats against malls

Shoppers show little alarm about al-Shabaab's call for violence

Somali militant group al-Shabaab may have threatened western shopping malls with violence in a propaganda video, but a quick glance inside the bustling Toronto Eaton Centre shows that people are far from cowering with fear.

The radical Islamic organization made public an almost hour-long video last week. Near the end, an English-speaking masked man called for attacks on shopping centres including the Mall of America in Minnesota, Oxford Street in London, England and most concerning to Canadians, the West Edmonton Mall. This came a year after the group attacked a high-end mall in Nairobi, Kenya and killed 67 people.

Despite al-Shabaab’s track record, there has been little alarm domestically. Even in a city as important as Toronto, people aren’t interrupting their shopping habits and mall owners show little concern.

“Of course the safety and security of our customers, tenants and staff is our first priority,” a spokesperson for Cadillac Fairview said. “Of course we are aware of the media reports and at this point we will just work closely with various levels of law enforcement as needed but beyond that we don’t have a comment.”

The property management company owns dozens of malls around the world, and is in charge of the Eaton and TD Centres, Sherway Gardens and the Shops at Don Mills.