More than one member of a suspected member of the terrorist organization Isis (Islamic State) is still at large after a raid on a smallholding outside Johannesburg three weeks ago.
Police then seized, among other things, AK-47 assault rifles, Isis flags and also video training materials that could be used to plan terrorist attacks.
One of the men who has been on the run since the raid on Klip River south of Alberton was searched by police two years ago after an extremist attack on a mosque in Verulam, KwaZulu-Natal.
During the attack in Verulam, Abbas Essop was killed and two other people were seriously injured when suspected extremists stormed the Imam Hussain Mosque in May 2018 with knives.
Intelligence sources say one of the 19 men who were initially arrested in 2018 after the attack, but were never charged, is now back on the police radar as a potential terrorist threat.
Brig. National police spokesman Vish Naidoo could not confirm the identity of the fugitive. “I am aware of the suspect (s) who are still wanted, but I can not say at this stage who they are,”
During the raid in Klip River on a holding that was allegedly used by a kidnapping indicator, the police seized several items that linked the suspects to organized crime or terrorism.
According to a police source, this included the number plate of the black BMW X5 utility vehicle that was used in three deadly attacks in Johannesburg on 31 December 2019, as well as an Isis flag.
However, sources in the intelligence world said last week that police had also come across a small arsenal – and more evidence of Isis ties. “Apart from several unlicensed firearms – including AK-47s, a Uzi hand carbine and two pump-action shotguns – the police also found almost 20 Isis flags and video training materials at the smallholding,” said an intelligence source.
Ricardo Uzair Sasman, Mohammed Waseem Mullah and Lebogang Gift Mamabolo appeared briefly on charges of kidnapping, extortion, possession of unlicensed firearms and ammunition, and robbery in Johannesburg Magistrate’s Court on Monday. The other two Klip River suspects appeared in the Vereeniging Magistrate’s Court on Friday. They are charged with possession of unlicensed firearms and because they are believed to be in the country illegally. Their names may not yet be released.
“The suspects also demanded a ransom of R3,5 million from their victim’s family and sent them videos of him,” the source said.
According to Naidoo, however, there is currently no mention in the charge sheet of any involvement in the New Year’s Eve attacks, in which two people were shot dead in the three shooting incidents – at Jolly Cool in Parkhurst, Poppy’s in Melville and Mary Fitzgerald Square in Johannesburg’s city center. and 11 were wounded. No arrests have been made so far.
As for the Verulam attack in 2018, 19 suspects were arrested but only 12 were charged.
The case against the alleged masterminds Farhad Hoomer, Ahmed Haffejee ‚Goolam Haffejee‚ Thabit Mwenda ‚Mohamad Akbar‚ Seiph Mohamed ‚Amani Mayani‚ Abubakar Ali ‚Abbas Jooma‚ Mahammed Sobruin ‚Ndikumana Shabani and Iddan Omhal is by Irfa Kari removed the court roll because the case was apparently not ready for court.
The accused were charged with murder and placing explosive devices in, among others, Woolworths stores.
“The state has asked the court for an adjournment so that further investigation can be done. This includes the analysis of electronic activities and the analysis of the accused’s telephone calls, ”said Natasha Kara, a spokesperson for the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) in KwaZulu-Natal. “Senior magistrate Irfaan Khalil ruled that because the case had been on the roll for two years, further postponement would be unreasonable.”
The state will now have to obtain permission from the provincial director of public prosecutions before prosecution can resume.
“The situation is being monitored and being worked on by the police and prosecutors at the NPA’s office for organized crime,” said Kara.
Rapport ‘s source says Isis’ activities in South Africa are becoming increasingly clear. The Klip River cell is directly linked to New Year’s Eve attacks, and now, to the fugitive suspect (from Klip River), also to the Verulam mosque attack. So, you have arrests for New Year, Verulam and Klip River with common role players, ”says the intelligence source.
Naidoo declined to comment on the items found in Klip River.
“I am not in a position to comment on items found at a crime scene. These items have the potential to serve as evidence. ”