The top advisor with Homeland Security under President Obama issued two separate warnings to people in the United States. One of the warnings pertained to potential terrorist threats at shopping malls and the second to Congress that unless funding crisis was prevented, his department would not be able to operate.
By mentioning both issues in the same sentence, Jeh Johnson, Secretary with Homeland Security connected this latest threat coming from an al-Qaeda terror group with the DHS funding crisis. As stated to ABC’s “This Week”, Johnson said that the funding crisis had to be resolved immediately, otherwise, the budget for Homeland Security would be gone.
Johnson added that he had taken the concern to both Republicans and Democrats, stressing how critical the situation was and that with ongoing global terrorist threats coupled with cyber-attacks and an unusually difficult winter, Homeland Security’s budget is in dire straits. This comment followed his warning to US shoppers to be aware of their surroundings while at malls.
This past weekend, the al-Shabaab terror group released a video in which supporters were being encouraged to attack American Malls. Although the threat was for all malls in the US, Minnesota’s Mall of America was mentioned in particular. This same group is responsible for the Kenya mall attack in 2013 that left over 60 people dead.
As part of this statement, Johnson did not feel that any actual plot was unfolding or that any specific mall was being targeted. For that reason, people were not advised to avoid shopping trips, just to be more cautious than usual.
However, the second part of Johnson’s statement made it clear that Congress was at an impasse regarding Homeland Security funding. He said that leaders of the Republican Party were asking for any bill pertaining to DHS funding to also block pending execution actions to stop the deportation of illegal immigrations on a temporary basis.
Many members of the Democratic Party support Obama’s actions against immigration and to prevent the bill from advancing, have enough Senate votes. As far as how things will proceed, neither the Senate nor House Republicans have commented.
A request for an emergency stay of injunction imposed by a Texas federal judge last week is being prepared by the Department of Justice. If granted, plans to implement immigration actions could move forward by the Obama Administration. At latest, the stay will be filed today.