​South Africa Terrorist Attacks Targeting Foreigners At Shopping Malls

South Africa Attacks
Author: Michael StevensBy:
Staff Reporter
Jun. 5, 2016

The South Africa government has been warned of possible terrorist attacks against U.S. citizens that may target areas were foreigners congregate, such as shopping malls in Johannesburg or Cape Town. The warning comes as crime is a prominent issue in the region in an ailing South Africa economy.

The United States Embassy in South Africa issued the warning on Saturday after ISIS called on its militants to “carry out terrorist attacks globally during the upcoming month of Ramadan.” It was the second such warning in under a year from the embassy, which issued a similar alert in September in a country that has a significant expatriate and tourist population but has seldom been associated with Islamist militancy, USA Today reports.

The South Africa attacks warning singled out up-market shopping areas and malls in the commercial hub of Johannesburg and Cape Town, widely regarded as South Africa’s tourism capital, as the main target areas. South Africa’s foreign affairs department said the country’s security agencies were capable of ensuring the safety of its residents, noting that no incident or attack had taken place after the previous warning by the US embassy last year.

South Africa attacks targeting foreigners in tourism capital

South Africa attacks targeting foreigners in tourism capital

The U.S. State Department updated a worldwide caution in March, saying ISIS and other terrorist groups continue to plan attacks in many areas of the world. The caution did not specifically mention South Africa, the International Business Times reported.

“The state security agency and other security agencies in this country are very much capable of keeping South Africa safe and everybody in this country, including Americans,” foreign affairs department spokesman Clayson Monyela said. “The last time they did this, towards the end of last year, nothing came out of that advisory,” he added.

“This information comes against the backdrop of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant’s public call for its adherents to carry out terrorist attacks globally during the upcoming month of Ramadan,” the Embassy said in a statement. South African police declined to comment and said they were studying the U.S. embassy statement.

Johannesburg police

Last September, the U.S. also warned its citizens of a possible attack by “extremists” against its interests in South Africa, a stable democracy seldom associated with Islamist militancy. The embassy and consulates in Johannesburg, Durban and Cape Town closed for several days in 2009 after what U.S. officials described as a “specific” threat to diplomatic missions in South Africa.

In Germany Thursday, three Syrian men were arrested on suspicion of planning an attack that was ordered by ISIS. The German attorney general’s office said the men wanted to attack the old town in Dusseldorf in western Germany with suicide bombings, guns and explosives.

News Week said the attacks claimed by ISIS left 32 people dead in Brussels on March 22, and 130 people were killed in Paris on November 13 in a series of attacks by several ISIS operatives.

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