Mall security in wake of Kenyan hostage siege
malls long suspected of being "soft target" for terrorists
NAIROBI-On Monday evening, government forces in Kenya claimed to have the upper hand in a deadly and explosive mall hostage crisis.
It's exposed a long held suspicion that shopping centers would become the new "soft target" for terrorists.
Because the attack was carried out by a Somali terror group linked to Al Qaeda and hostile to Americans, there are concerns being raised about Mall security here in the U.S.
"Soft targets are always attractive to terrorists because they're usually not defended," Lt. Col. Rick Francona tells CNN.
Mall representatives in the U.S. stress that security is front and center. The Mall of America, one of the largest shopping centers in the country, holds lock down drills twice a month.
Tenants and customers in the Minnesota facility practice sheltering in back rooms of stores, aimed at prevented 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," says Dough Reynolds of Mall of America, "we want to know what can be done until law enforcement gets here."