Top South African investigators are working with the American Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) after a security concern that the international terrorist group, Islamic State (IS), might be planning some co-ordinated attacks on the country.
When the Islamic State moves into a territory, they conduct a reign of terror that includes indiscriminate killing of their enemies. As was seen in Syria, Christians are targeted for execution followed by minority religions like the Yazidi (related to Hinduism) and even Islamic offshoots eg Shia, Alawite, Druze. Forced conversion or payment of a special tax and limited rights is the only protection from sadistic execution.
They throw gay or bisexual men from tall structures to their deaths, stone women who don’t conform, perform female genital mutilation, marry Islamic girls to their soldiers and sheikhs and treat younger non-muslims as sex slaves, and capture all forms of wealth which disappears back to their leaders, often in Middle Eastern countries. (WARNING: This information can be found on the internet and is not in dispute at all, we won’t show it here but be warned that this is extremely barbaric and upsetting).
Those who flock to IS and support them are often disempowered young men without social skills, jobs, girlfriends or family values and are attracted to the instant power that a gun and power over helpless people seems to provide. They are identified and targeted and mistakenly sold a dream that along pseudo-religious lines. The girls that follow them are similarly disillusioned with the secular world and prefer the rigid, predictable world that the Islamic State seems to offer. However, as seen in Syria, all of these women’s husbands were shot down and they faced exclusion from their countries of origins and rejected by normal societies.
The SA investigators met with their FBI counterparts on Monday after four men, who were believed to have links with the terror group, were arrested in Durban, last week. Two of the men were part of the group of 12 arrested, in October 2018, while they were allegedly planning to bomb the popular Florida Road in Durban during the festive season of the same year.
The group is also believed to be behind the knife attack at one of the mosques in Durban and a number of bomb scares in the same year.
During the mosque attack assailants killed a worshipper by slitting his throat and injured two others critically after midday prayers at a mosque in Verulam, outside Durban. The US Embassy press team representative, Nick Hersh, on Friday, refused to make any comment about the investigation. KwaZulu-Natal provincial police spokesperson, Colonel Thembeka Mbele, confirmed that four men aged between 23 and 47 were arrested for being in unlawful possession of firearms and ammunition.
Police also found five thousand rounds of ammunition, an AK-47 rifle, seven cellular phones, two magazines, a rifle as well as diamonds and jewellery when they raided the suspects’ residence in Mayville, Durban, last week.
A cellphone jamming device was also uncovered. Mbele said the Hawks are investigating the case because of its sensitivity.
The Sunday Independent has it on good authority that two of the suspects are linked to the Thulsie twins from Gauteng.
Tony-Lee and Brandon-Lee Thulsie and their friend Renaldo Smith were stopped from boarding a flight at OR Tambo International Airport, in April, 2015, as they were planning to fly to Syria to join IS. In another attempt, they drove to Maputo in Mozambique to board a Kenya Airways flight, but they were also unsuccessful. And they were eventually arrested, in July, 2016, after Tony-Lee came into contact with an FBI agent who posed as an IS operative.
The Thulsie twins became the first South Africans to be arrested and charged for having Islamic State links, as the state has alleged that they were plotting to attack the US embassy, the UK High Commission, the South Africa Zionist Federation, King David High School in Johannesburg, and Denel.
Smith turned state witness against his friends, but managed to sneak out of the county, and later resurfaced in Cabo Delgado province, northern Mozambique, where he joined the jihadist group that calls itself “al-Shabaab”, in May, 2018.
There was also a photo circulating showing him, with other jihadists in Mozambique, posing in a field with weapons next to the black-and-white IS flag. A senior investigator within the law enforcement agency yesterday said there is “strong evidence that IS is planning something big in South Africa”.
“We believe that they are planning co-ordinated attacks across South Africa.” He warned.
He declined to give more information, as it is an ongoing investigation.
“We suspect that IS has managed to build some cells across the country and that they still continue recruiting new members.” The officer says their investigation established that there is a ring leader from Durban who is co-ordinating the attacks nationwide.
“The money runs most of the IS cells in South Africa and finance their operations. We also believe that he supported the Thulsie twins each time they appeared in court,” he added.
He confirmed that they have been working together with the FBI in their investigation. “It isn’t a top secret that we are working with the FBI in these investigations”.
The Sunday Independent reported, in February, last year, that about 20 widows, whose South African partners died in Syria fighting with IS, asked to be repatriated with their children because “they aren’t coming back to plant bombs”.
The women had left South Africa to join their husbands in Syria and other Islamic countries in the Middle East.
Much of the report based on Sunday Independent July 4 by Mzilikazi wa Afrika and published in the interest of public safety.
Also read: ISIS Terror Suspects Arrested In SA