FARIBAULT, Minn.- Abdinzak Ahmed Farah allegedly threatened people in downtown Faribault with a knife on July 24.
According to the Faribault Daily News, Farah was reported by witnesses to be eating raw beef with the knife. Later Farah would start asking people if they wanted to play a game. Although Farah was asked to leave, he would later return to the area and start threatening people with that same knife. Eventually, Farah even proceeded to chase people with the knife and threw it at bystanders.
Eventually, Farah was confronted by a witness on the street who called the police. Farah threatened to kill the witness, saying, “I will kill whoever calls the police.” The witness then restrained Farah, reports the Faribault Daily News.
Farah was charged with two counts of second-degree assault and threatening violence, all of which are felonies, and fourth-degree damage to property, the Faribault Daily News reported.
A Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension report, indicates that crime within Minnesota is decreasing.
However, the amount of violent crimes committed in Minnesota has increased. A total of 13,407 violent crimes (including such things as murder, rape, robbery, and aggravated assault) were recorded in Minnesota in 2016.
This was a bit under a one percent increase in violent crime since 2015.
As Alpha News reported, aggravated assault has increased by 0.6 percent.
Earlier this year, St. Cloud, Minnesota experienced an attack at the Crossroads Center Mall where a young Somali man, Dahir Adan, attacked 10 shoppers with a knife before being taken down by off-duty police officer, Jason Falconer.
Another knife attack carried out this past year by a Somali, Abdul Razak Ali Artan, at Ohio State University– which came a few months after the attack at the St. Cloud mall.
Knives and swords play a prominent role within Islamic ideology. Some of the verses within the Quran that seem to advocate violence are called the “sword verses,” and within traditionalist Islamic societies, such as Saudi Arabia, the sword is often used as an instrument of execution.
While sparing research has been done on mental health within the Somali community, a 2014 report by the Minnesota Department of Health, indicates that mental health issues are often heavily stigmatized within the Somali community.
Some within the study even indicated they had “a general discomfort with Western doctors and other service providers and a preference for seeking religious counsel and guidance.” A lack of awareness by members of the community for mental health resources played an important role in such issues often going untreated.
It has yet to be determined if this was a potential copy cat of this attack or simply a person with severe mental health issues.