Govt to combat acts of terrorism after US sanctions alleged Isis cell membersNovember 9, 2022
The Minister in the Presidency responsible for State Security, Mondli Gungubele, has reiterated government’s resolve to combat acts of terrorism and illicit financing activities in South Africa.
US sanctions alleged Isis cell members
This comes in the wake of the recent United States Department of Treasury sanction of alleged members of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (Isis) in South Africa, who, according to the US, “have provided technical, financial, or material support to the terrorist group Isis”.
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The US Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control added Durban-based business people Nufael Akbar, Yunus Mohamad Akbar, Mohamad Akbar and Umar Akbar to its specially designated nationals and blocked persons list.
In a statement on Monday, the department said brothers Nufael and Yunus Mohamad Akbar were allegedly senior members of an Isis cell in Durban led by Farhad Hoomer, who was sanctioned by the US earlier this year, in March.
Nufael Akbar is considered a central commanding figure while his brother Yunus allegedly functions as an enforcer and logistical coordinator.
The US Treasury also designated eight companies owned, controlled, or directed by the individuals in this alleged Isis cell.
“The South Africa-based Isis members designated today are associates of Treasury-designated Isis cell leader Farhad Hoomer, who continues to pursue Isis’s objectives in southern Africa and express the will and intent to attack the interests of the United States and its allies,” said the US Treasury Department’s top terrorist finance watchdog, Brian Nelson.
SA govt to work with US counterparts
Gungubele on Wednesday, said the South African government noted the contents of the US statement and intended to work with its American counterparts in combating all forms of terrorism and its manifestations.
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“We will not allow our territory to be used to fund terrorism in other countries.
“As such and working with our counterparts in the fight against terrorism, we will do everything in our power to uncover and root out acts of terrorism and illicit financing in particular,” the minister said in a statement.
Gungubele further assured South Africans that law enforcement agencies remained vigilant and ready to protect citizens and safeguard the integrity of the country.
Sandton terror threat
Late last month, the US embassy in South Africa warned that terrorists were planning to conduct an attack targeting large gatherings of people “at an unspecified location in the greater Sandton area” on 29 October 2022.
The embassy further advised staff to avoid crowds of people and other large public gatherings in the greater Sandton area of Johannesburg during the weekend of 29-30 October 2022.
However, the terrorist attack never happened and at the time, the South African government said it did not receive intelligence on terrorism threats.
Compiled by Thapelo Lekabe
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