'No terrorists in SA': Mahlobo

APRIL 7, 2015

State Security Minister, David Mahlobo, on Tuesday assured South Africans that they are safe from terrorism after a 15-year-old school girl from Cape Town was taken off a flight to Johannesburg. Police suspected that she was going to board an international flight to join the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIS).

Mahlobo said the girl was actively engaged with social media networks and evidence found in her bedroom suggests that she had been in contact with ISIS recruiters.

The Minister said terrorism is a worldwide problem, but security agencies are working to ensure the safety of South Africans.

"It doesn’t mean there are terrorists in South Africa, but the use of social networks and technology is a challenge. They are using technology to attract children. But we know our security cluster officials in this country are working tirelessly to ensure our people are safe. People must calm down. There are no terrorists in the country," he told the SABC.

The Minister also challenged parents to monitor how their children were using social media platforms.

Growing concern

Last year, a Port Elizabeth family reportedly sold their house and relocated to Iraq to join ISIS.

Three British teenagers were arrested in Istanbul, Turkey, on suspicions that they were going to join the militants. Another group of three British girls evaded arrest and managed to cross into Syria to join the organisation.