Is South Africa vulnerable to ISIS terrorism activities on its soil?

Recent reports of Isis recruitment in South Africa have raised concerns of whether there are more people in the country becoming involved in Isis terrorism activities.

This week, twin brothers, Brandon-Lee Thulsie and Tony-Lee Thulsie, 24, were charged with conspiring to blow up various Jewish institutions and a U.S. mission in South Africa.

John Maytham spoke to Jasmine Opperman, Africa Director for the Terrorism Research and Analysis Consortium, about the possibilities of Isis setting up in South Africa.

Opperman says that there are people who are showing interest in what Isis is doing, more so as Isis is not shy about its propaganda campaign.

The message of Isis is being spread, and there is a response, but this remain individual cases. There is no evidence at this point in time directing toward active cells planning attacks

Jasmine Opperman, Africa Director for the Terrorism Research and Analysis Consortium

I think as the public in South Africa, we must just take a step back and says the reality of Isis's presence in South Africa is here we cannot ignore it.

Jasmine Opperman, Africa Director for the Terrorism Research and Analysis Consortium

Opperman went on to talk about the Isis recruitment process. She says it starts on an individual targeted subjects by individual recruiters, who then form a recruitment cell, and recruits are then placed in operational positions.

In order to execute its mandate, Isis does not need a lot of people. It relies rather on individuals, who know exactly what to do in order to execute an attack, she says.

The message now to its supporters is that wherever you are based and you execute an attack, that will be of equal importance, and a contribution towards what they believe the course is all about. South Africa cannot isolate itself from this

Jasmine Opperman, Africa Director for the Terrorism Research and Analysis Consortium

The fact that South Africa has managed to make only four arrest in a year is concerning says Opperman. She says South Africa needs to develop a broader strategy where it will be difficult for Isis to execute attacks.

Listen to the full conversation below:


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