Court told of twins’ plans to launch attacks in SA
HE called himself Simba.
He communicated regularly with people linked to extremist group the Islamic State. He discussed his plans to carry out an attack. And he said he would blow himself up for the cause. Simba is Tony-Lee Thulsie. These are among the details that emerged in an affidavit by Hawks officer Wynand Olivier at the South Gauteng High Court in Johannesburg yesterday, including that Simba was the code name used by one of the Thulsie twins allegedly linked to plans to carry out terror attacks at a US Mission in South Africa and at Jewish institutions in the country.
Other details were revealed in court earlier this week as the twins challenged the lawfulness of their arrests.
The 23- year- old brothers were arrested more than two weeks ago at their homes in Newclare, Johannesburg.
In the affidavit, Olivier said he had evidence which indicated the twins had attempted to leave South Africa twice last year. “Two attempts to leave the country in the space of three months illustrate that the accused were not only committed to join IS, but were aided and abetted by persons located outside South Africa who are connected with IS,” the affidavit said.
A bank account was opened by Brandon-Lee Thulsie into which an IS member outside South Africa allegedly deposited money to fund the twins’ trip to Syria.
Olivier said in the affidavit the twins were also in possession of IS propaganda, including images of executions, as well as digital manuals detailing how to make bombs and a picture showing one of the twins wearing a suicide vest.
According to the affidavit, digital devices found in the possession of Tony-Lee showed images of “IS military operations in the Middle East and recruits receiving training”.
The affidavit also revealed how Tony-Lee’s wife was fired from her job because of her husband’s alleged extremist religious views, which were described as being linked to jihad anarchist movements.
The court heard “Simba” had communicated with people linked to the IS about an easier formula to manufacture explosives. He mentioned a cellphone detonator to set off an explosive device and also made inquiries about how to make a car bomb.
Meanwhile, Cage Africa, an advocacy organisation with an Islamic focus, said in a statement yesterday a witness in the case, Arashad Smith, had retracted his statement after claiming he was coerced by police into making it.
Smith told Cage police threatened to arrest him and members of his family, including his wife, brother-in-law and mother-in-law.
The twins are due back in court on Monday.