The Hawks have confirmed that two suspected terrorists have been prevented from entering South Africa.
In the first incident, a suspected extremist, who traveled through Turkey using an American passport, was stopped at OR Tambo International Airport on December 16.
Then an Iraqi man tried to fly out of Turkey to South Africa but was refused passage by Turkish authorities. He was subsequently arrested.
Jasmine Opperman, Africa Director for the Terrorism Research and Analysis Consortium says the report in The Sunday Times seems exaggerated and questioned how the Iraqi - suspected to be a bomb maker - would be allowed to travel given that they are very protected.
There are contradictions in the information made available.— Jasmine Opperman, Africa Director for the Terrorism Research and Analysis Consortium
I find the article a bit exaggerated. I think the information has been made available to exert pressure on the South African government to sign a memorandum of understanding of intelligence cooperation (with Iraq).— Jasmine Opperman, Africa Director for the Terrorism Research and Analysis Consortium
However, Opperman warned that the country could be at risk of terrorist attacks.
Its an undeniable reality that we have Islamic state supporters in South Africa, we cannot ignore that.— Jasmine Opperman, Africa Director for the Terrorism Research and Analysis Consortium
The Hawks spokesperson, Hangwani Mulaudzi says these reports were confirmed by Interpol and reports from Turkey.
He says they are still waiting for more information which will confirm who these men are and why were they travelling to South Africa.
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