Ricochet News

State Security Unaware of South Africans fighting for ISIS

State Security Unaware of South Africans fighting for ISIS

The State Security Agency (SSA) says it is unaware of any South Africans fighting for the al-Qaeda off-shoot, the Islamic State (IS) which is also called the Islamic State of Iraq & Syria (ISIS), in Iraq or Syria and is working with international partners to monitor the situation.

A local paper, the Sunday Independent, reported that as many as 140 South Africans have travelled to Syria and Iraq where ISIS controls large swathes of territory with the intention of building an Islamic caliphate based on strict Sharia law.

“We are forever vigilant and always working with our partners to try get information which will assist us in the particular fight but in this regard we can indicate that we are not aware of this specific report being mentioned,” said State Security spokesman Brian Dube.

The news of South Africans possibly joining the ISIS fight comes when it is believed that at least 1 500 young British Muslims have been recruited by ISIS in the last three years.

While the numbers of young man from other nations fighting in ISIS ranks are also sketchy, the CIA estimates that the militant group has a force of around 30 000 men.   

Over the weekend it also emerged that two former British infantrymen were among a growing cohort of Britons joining the ranks of westerners travelling to Syria and Iraq to fight ISIS militants.

The two who are fighting in Kobane, Syria, insist that they are not mercenaries but involved in a war of ‘good against evil’.