How serious are threats from ISIS against South Africa?: Andy Grudko

Three years after ISIS appeared to be on its last legs in Iraq and Syria it has seized a city in Mozambique. The city is called Cabo Delgado, in the country’s north has been captured by fighters linked to the terrorist group, with the port of Mocimboa da Praia a particular concern. Now to discuss this and whether South Africa should be concerned we are joined on the line by Executive Director at SA Terrorism Analysis Centre, Andy Grudko For more news, visit sabcnews.com and also #SABCNews#Coronavirus#COVID19News on Social Media.

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5 foreign nationals linked to kidnapping, extremism syndicate and New Year’s Eve Melville shooting arrested

SOURCE: News24 Police have arrested five foreign nationals behind a spate of kidnappings – inside and outside the country. They are linked to an international kidnapping and extremism syndicate. News24 understands the five could also be linked to a shooting at Poppy’s restaurant in Melville and other shootings at the Mary Fitzgerald Square in Newtown, Johannesburg, on New Year’s Eve. https://www.news24.com/news24/southafrica/news/police-arrest-5-foreign-nationals-linked-to-a-kidnapping-and-extremism-syndicate-20200723

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Crisis in northern Mozambique is now an urgent matter for SADC

SOURCE: IOL Pretoria – The crisis in northern Mozambique is now an urgent and inescapable matter for the SADC region, given that the Islamic State (Isis) has issued a warning to South Africa not to get involved in the conflict. Isis threatened that if South Africa becomes involved, it would “open the fighting front within South Africa’s borders”.  

Southern Africa has a lot to learn from West African nations on how to address a terrorist insurgency. If the Islamist insurgency in northern Mozambique is to be defeated, we need to heed the lessons of how Boko Haram grew into such an ominous threat to the West African region.Read the original story from IOL

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Dismissal of Islamic State case sparks controversy

Alleged ‘terrorists’ accused of murder at a Verulam mosque go free.

By Peter Fabricius – Daily Maverick Was it a travesty of justice or the correction of a miscarriage of the law when on Monday 13 July the Verulam Magistrate’s Court threw out the case against 12 men accused of perpetrating terrorist activities in the name of Islamic State? The case has provoked heated debate, with accusations of Islamophobia and alarmism running one way and counter-charges of appeasement and denialism running the other way. 

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‘Global terrorist’ Dawood Ibrahim’s lasting grip on SA

SOURCE:News24.com

Testimony in a United States court has revived uncomfortable memories of another global crime kingpin who operated in our borders, Dawood Ibrahim Kaskar.

Ibrahim’s name came up during testimony by Vicky Goswami, the notorious mandrax smuggler who lived in South Africa in the early 1990s and turned State witness following his extradition to the US from Kenya in 2017.

For a quarter of a century, India has been hunting Ibrahim as the alleged mastermind behind a series of bombings which ripped through Mumbai in 1993, killing some 260 people.

Ibrahim was subsequently suspected of infiltrating South Africa and pumping mandrax across the borders before moving his operations to Dubai and then Pakistan, where he is alleged to have forged ties with al-Qaeda.

READ MORE Link: https://www.news24.com/SouthAfrica/News/amabhungane-global-terrorist-dawood-ibrahims-lasting-grip-on-sa-20190910

 

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Tourists should not fear coming to SA, says minister

August 3rd 2019: Tourists should have no fear being in South Africa or visiting the country, despite the recent murder of a Ukrainian and reports of tourist robberies in the Western Cape. This is according to Tourism Minister Mmamakolo Kubayi-Ngubane. Kubayi-Ngubane would have been taking note of the recent death involving Ukranian tourist Ivan Ivanov who was stabbed to death last weekend.

“I would like to reassure tourists that it is safe to travel to South Africa and that their safety remains top priority for the South African government.

Read more at:  News24.com https://www.news24.com/SouthAfrica/News/tourists-should-not-fear-coming-to-sa-says-minister-20190803

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Important Information for South Africans Abroad

Travel advisories for South Africans: Although the SA Department of International Relations and Cooperation (http://www.dirco.gov.za/) do not generally issue warnings about travel to specific countries, some other countries do:

https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/traveladvisories/traveladvisories/egypt-travel-advisory.html

https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/egypt/terrorism

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25 SA tourists involved in Egypt bus explosion on their way home

SOURCE: News24.com

The bulk of the South African tourists who were involved in a bus explosion near Egypt’s Giza Pyramids are heading back home.

The Department of International Relations and Cooperation (Dirco) said in a statement on Sunday night that 25 of the 28 South Africans will be returning to South Africa on Monday morning.

AFP reported that 17 people were injured when an explosion rocked a tourist bus near Egypt’s Giza Pyramids, according to officials.

The wounded included three South African tourists and Egyptians, officials reportedly said on Sunday. There were no reports of deaths. Read More at https://www.news24.com/SouthAfrica/News/25-sa-tourists-involved-in-egypt-bus-explosion-on-their-way-home-20190520

Travel advisories for South Africans: Although the SA Department of International Relations and Cooperation (http://www.dirco.gov.za/) do not generally issue warnings about travel to specific countries, some other countries do:

https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/traveladvisories/traveladvisories/egypt-travel-advisory.html

https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/egypt/terrorism

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SA man accused of terror-related activities in Mozambique to appear in court

SOURCE: Mail & Guardian https://mg.co.za/article/2019-01-02-sa-man-accused-of-terror-related-activities-in-mozambique-to-appear-in-court

According to department of international relations and cooperation spokesperson Ndivhuwo Mabaya, Andre Meyer Hanekom — a South African citizen — is expected to appear in a Mozambican court this month. He is accused of supporting and aiding terrorist activities in northern Mozambique.

According to media reports, Hanekom will appear alongside Tanzanian nationals Chafim Mussa and Adamu Nhaungwa Yanhgue.

The three have been accused of supporting a jihadist group that wanted to create an independent state in gas-rich Cabo Delgado region, according to Mozambican authorities.

News agency AFP reported that Hanekom was formally arrested in August after being seized by military personnel from a restaurant in Pamla. Known as ‘baba mzungo’ or “white father”, Hanekom was allegedly responsible for logistics in terror-related activities.

This is not Hanekom’s first appearance in Mozambican courts.
According to Mabaya: “He has appeared in court three or four times before.”

READ MORE: Mozambique’s mysterious insurgency

In October, Hanekom’s wife Francis petitioned the South African government and Mozambican police to work towards releasing her husband.  At the time, Francis had said her husband had been wrongfully arrested, and he was being framed.

In a Facebook post on Wednesday, Francis defended her husband, claiming that Hanekom’s arrest was because “influential people desire Andre’s property on the beach.”

“Lies will catch up, and those who laugh last, have the best laugh, after all,” she wrote. Hanekom’s daughter, Amanda, also posted on Facebook saying that the family planned to win the court case.

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SATAC Special Report: The Verulam Eleven

The Verulam Family Court heard on 22 Oct 2018 that eleven men accused of the May fatal attack at a KwaZulu-Natal Shia mosque and planting several incendiary devices at Durban shopping centres have links to the so called Islamic State (ISIS). The accused are from South Africa, Burundi, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Tanzania.

The court heard that during their arrests, the men were found in possession of an ISIS newsletter and a manual on how to make bombs and carry out assassinations, as revealed in an affidavit that Warrant Officer Benedict Chonco of the Hawks presented in opposition to the men’s release on bail. W.O. Chonco revealed that some of the 11 men were positively identified for the Imam Hussein Shia Mosque attack in Verulam and for the planting of bombs at major Durban shopping centres.

Chonco also stated that CCTV footage at the Woolworths stores placed some of them at the scenes where incendiary devices were planted and that a white Hyundai Getz and VW Polo Vivo, allegedly used in the mosque attack and a Woolworths store in Gateway in Umhlanga, were registered to accused number one, businessman Farhad Hoomer of Durban.

Hoomer was identified as the leader of the group and his house in Reservoir Hills was used for training the group for more than a year and a device similar to the bomb used in the mosque attack and those found at Woolworths stores was found at Hoomer’s home. He is also the owner of the house where a victim was found kidnapped.

Hoomer’s cellphone location was linked to the mosque attack in Verulam and the three victims of extortion in the matter had had previous dealings with Hoomer – each had received a threatening SMS demanding about R1 500 000.

Hoomer and his co-accused, Mohamad Akbar‚ Ndikumana Shabani, Seiph Mohamed‚ Amani Mayani‚ Ahmed Haffejee‚ Thabit Mwenda‚ Abubakar Ali‚ Abbas Jooma‚ Mahammed Sobruin‚ and Iddy Omani applied for bail.

They face 14 charges including murder, attempted murder, arson, extortion and the violation of the Protection of Constitutional Democracy Against Terrorist and Related Activities Act. Magistrate Irfaan Khalil postponed the case to the 24th for the defence’s replying affidavit.

It would appear that this was a criminal conspiracy that took advantage of the fear of ISIS terror to motivate victims’ compliance and to obfuscate the motive for the attacks.

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