Con­cern over ISIS in­fil­tra­tion

Zululand Observer - Weekender - - ZO NEWS - Or­rin Singh

RE­PORTS that Is­lamic ex­trem­ists are set­ting up camp in South Africa are cause for con­cern and a de­vel­op­ment de­mand­ing at­ten­tion.

Head of the Crim­i­nal Jus­tice Depart­ment at the Uni­ver­sity of Zu­l­u­land, Pro­fes­sor Jo­han Ras, said al­le­ga­tions that fol­low­ers of the Is­lamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) have es­tab­lished train­ing camps in the coun­try are wor­ry­ing.

‘It is def­i­nitely a mat­ter of se­ri­ous con­cern. ‘Here we are deal­ing with an in­ter­na­tional threat that was ex­pected af­ter 9/11 and long be­fore the 2010 soc­cer World Cup.

‘South Africa is an ex­cel­lent lo­ca­tion for this group be­cause of our well-es­tab­lished in­fra­struc­ture,’ said Ras.

A num­ber of in­ci­dents this year, re­cently sum­marised by the In­sti­tute for Se­cu­rity Stud­ies (ISS), in­clude the mur­der of South African/Bri­tish botanists, Rod­ney and Rachel Saun­ders in Fe­bru­ary; two mur­der­ous at­tacks on mosques in KZN and the Western Cape; the plant­ing of sev­eral cell­phone in­cen­di­ary de­vices in Dur­ban; the ar­rests of the Thulsie twins in Jo­han­nes­burg for al­legedly plot­ting vi­o­lence against Jewish and US in­ter­ests; and the ar­rest of an Is­lamic State-linked ex­trem­ist in the Nether­lands. ZULULULAND CON­NEC­TION Zu­l­u­land has been linked to at least two of th­ese cases.

Sayefudeen Del Vec­chio (38) and his wife Fa­tima Pa­tel (27) were ar­rested at their home­stead in the foothills of the Endlovini area, bor­der­ing the pro­tected Ngoye For­est Re­serve, in con­nec­tion with the Saun­ders’ mur­ders – a story which the ZO broke.

It was later re­vealed that Del Vec­chio, Pa­tel, Them­ba­mandla Xulu (19) and a Malaw­ian na­tional, Ah­mad Jack­son Mussa (36), acted to­gether in con­spir­ing and car­ry­ing out the mur­der of the Saun­ders cou­ple.

Xulu sub­se­quently en­tered into a plea bar­gain with the state in terms of Sec­tion 105A of the Crim­i­nal Pro­ce­dure Act and was con­victed and sen­tenced on 25 May to three years’ im­pris­on­ment, sus­pended for five years, for the il­le­gal pos­ses­sion of stolen prop­erty (the vic­tims’ cell phones).

An­other in­ter­na­tional link sur­faced when Dutch in­tel­li­gence au­thor­i­ties ar­rested Mo­hammed Ghor­shid in July af­ter he tried to buy bit­coins (the pre­ferred cur­rency of ter­ror­ist fi­nanc­ing) with a credit card be­long­ing to the Saun­ders cou­ple.

Ghor­shid was on the watch list of Dutch in­tel­li­gence be­cause of his Is­lamic State links.

The credit card con­nected Ghor­shid with Del Vec­chio and Pa­tel.

The sec­ond in­ci­dent which fur­ther in­di­cated that Zu­l­u­land could be home to ISIS fol­low­ers was the ar­rest of Ah­mad Haf­fe­jee (28) on the R34.

Haf­fe­jee’s prop­erty in the eShowe Hills Eco & Golf Es­tate was raided by mem­bers of the Dur­ban Or­gan­ised Crime Unit and a spe­cialised task team.

He, to­gether with 10 other men all linked to ISIS, has been ac­cused of set­ting off a num­ber of in­cen­di­ary de­vices in and around Dur­ban. They have also been im­pli­cated in the hor­rific at­tack at a Veru­lam mosque that claimed the

life of Ab­bas Es­sop.

A source told the ZO that Haf­fee­jee, a med­i­cal rep­re­sen­ta­tive who would of­ten travel be­tween Mel­moth and eShowe, had at least 17 firearms reg­is­tered in his name.

‘Th­ese guys are very well con­nected. They of­ten pos­sess more firearms than you or I would be al­lowed to have.

‘I don’t know what kind of loop­holes they have found in the law to al­low for that num­ber of firearms to be reg­is­tered to any one per­son,’ the source said.

Haf­fe­jee and his co-ac­cused face a raft of charges, in­clud­ing ter­ror­ism, mur­der, at­tempted mur­der, ex­tor­tion, kid­nap­ping, con­tra­ven­tion of the Ex­plo­sives Act and ar­son. EX­PAN­SION Pro­fes­sor Ras be­lieves ISIS’s in­volve­ment in South Africa is hap­pen­ing now be­cause there is a de­lib­er­ate ex­pan­sion plan of rad­i­cal ex­trem­ist groups.

‘It is com­mon knowl­edge that ISIS mu­jahideen fight­ers and af­fil­i­ates move from Pak­istan, through Ye­men, Tan­za­nia and Mozam­bique into South Africa.

‘Their aim is to fur­ther di­vide and ex­ploit the un­cer­tain so­cio-po­lit­i­cal land­scape of South African to fur­ther their own agenda among lo­cal Mus­lim com­mu­ni­ties.’

‘From a psy­cho-crim­i­no­log­i­cal point of view we are deal­ing with the fore­run­ners of a well-placed clan­des­tine re­con­nais­sance group.

‘The group tar­gets Jewish and Bri­tish (Aus­tralian) in­ter­ests, but es­pe­cially Amer­i­can for­eign pol­icy.’

A huge po­lice con­tin­gency was in­volved in the raid of Sayefudeen Del Vec­chio’s home­stead in the Endlovini area, near Ngoye, in Fe­bru­ary this year. The yel­low flag is be­lieved to be one which shows sup­port for ISIS

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