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Once again, terrorism hits close to home

Once again, we’ve been made startlingly aware that terrorism is a global problem, one not confined to just the Mideast, half a world away.
Saturday evening, Dahir Adan went on a rampage through a St. Cloud shopping mall, stabbing nine people before being shot by an off-duty police officer. According to news reports, Adan was dressed in a private security guard uniform, and allegedly asked at least one victim if they were Muslim before stabbing them.
The FBI is investigating the incident as a potential act of terrorism, not just as one of those all-too-common incidents in which a mentally or emotionally disturbed person goes on a mass killing spree.
Fortunately, none of the nine victims was killed, but that doesn’t lessen the fear and unease that was generated by this act. In fact, go ahead and call it terrorism, regardless of whether Adan was associated with a known terrorist group or not. His actions did, indeed, strike terror into the hearts of many, right here in America’s heartland.
Despite the attacks on Sept. 11, 2001, we’ve continued to think of terrorism as an issue that exists largely outside our borders. But more and more, it is obvious that it has made its insiduous way into the very core of our country.
In fact, despite being an inland state known for being “nice,” Minnesota seems to have become a magnet for terrorism. We thought any terroristic ties would be confined to the Twin Cities area, with its larger immigrant population. But that has been somewhat disproven by recent events.
Last year, a Glencoe man was arrested by the FBI for suspected ties to a terrorist organization. Now, ISIL is claiming that Adan was “a soldier of the Islamic State.”
We have no doubt that the FBI and other agencies are working hard to identify and contain known operatives in our state. But it’s a slippery eel to try to grasp. Terrorist organizations recruit by word of mouth and by tapping into personal relationships. It’s hard to get a handle on.
But in the meantime, keep an eye out. The problem is right here in our state, cities and countryside. Stay vigilant.