NPR News Investigations and the Center for Investigative Reporting analyzed 125 reports of shoppers and incidents at Mall of America that mall security personnel and local police identified as suspicious persons or activities potentially related to terrorism. The documents included personal information on the subjects, as well as detailed incident narratives written by mall security guards or local police officers. Indications of whether the cases were forwarded to the FBI, Joint Terrorism Task Force, Minnesota Joint Analysis Center or Immigration and Customs Enforcement were also provided. The database below provides NPR’s summaries of the narratives, incident locations and whether the incident involved the taking of photos or videos, which was a common theme. In addition, NPR analyzed the identification of persons by race and ethnic group.


Note: The Center for Investigative Reporting and NPR filed public records requests to more than 20 fusion centers and police departments for reports from popular landmarks, shopping malls, sports venues and amusement parks across the Untied States. The only substantive response came from Minnesota, where the city of Bloomington and the Minnesota Joint Analysis Center provided 125 suspicious activity reports, consisting of more than 1,000 pages, relating to Mall of America. NPR and the Center for Investigative Reporting contacted and interviewed people in 20 of the reports, some of whom gave us permission to publish their names and reports.

Sources: Database compiled using documents from Bloomington Police Department, Minnesota Joint Analysis Center and Mall of America.

Credit: Margot Williams, Stephanie d’Otreppe and Alicia Cypress / NPR and Tia Ghose / Center for Investigative Reporting

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Michael Corey is a former senior data editor. He led a team of data journalists who seek to distill large datasets into compelling and easily understandable stories using the tools of journalism, statistics and programming. His specialties include mapping, the U.S.-Mexico border, scientific data and working with remote sensing. Corey's work has been honored with an Online Journalism Award, an Emmy Award, a Polk Award, an IRE Medal and other national awards. He previously worked for the Des Moines Register and graduated from Drake University.