Isis recruiting in SA

2015-12-02 06:00

AT least three South African teenagers, who had been brainwashed into supporting the terror organisation Islamic State (Isis), are receiving treatment to deradicalise them.

“People are naive if they think Isis is not recruiting in South Africa. They actually want our teenagers,” said Jasmine Opperman, Africa director at the Consortium for Terrorist Research and Analysis (Trac).

The parents of the teens found out their children were supporting Isis’s killings on social­ media.

The teens reportedly found Isis propaganda while on social media and bought into the ideology of terror.

The worried parents asked Trac to convince their children to reject this ideology of terror and rather choose peace.

“The parents luckily identified the problem­ early and this makes deradicalising possible,” said Opperman.

The “deradicalising process” cannot convince the teens Isis is wrong, but aims to convince them to stay in SA because there are more opportunities here. They can also live out their religion peacefully, which is a better alternative than to go to a war in Syria or Iraq, said Opperman.

Department of State Security spokesperson Brian Dube said it is monitoring Isis propaganda being disseminated online.

Although Isis mainly targets young people between the age of 16 and 24, Opperman said South Africans between 15 and 20 are often approached at schools to take up arms for Isis.

According to Trac’s Isis activity survey in South Africa, Isis is especially active in Johannesburg, Cape Town and Port Elizabeth. Opperman warns that not only are young people targeted.

Aqeel Kloberie (44), a South African, was reportedly shot by the army in Iraq last Thursday. His identity was allegedly confirmed by the South African driver’s licence found in his pants.

His mother, Joyce Snyman of Umbilo in Durban, said Kloberie was not a terrorist. She told the Daily Sun her son was an introvert­, but very skilled. She feared he may have been used by terrorists to make bombs, or that he could have been killed by mistake.

Kloberie left for Bahrain in March to work as a radiographic tester, and she last spoke to him in June.

Snyman is still waiting for news from authorities­, and is hopeful he was simply in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Three South African families moved to Iraq last year to join Isis. A family with 21 members, aged between 15 and 62, later returned because they were unhappy with the way Isis treated them. The family members were questioned at O.R. Tambo airport, but no one was arrested, said Dube.

The possibility that Isis members are hiding in South Africa is also great because of South Africa’s porous borders and insufficient­ security protocols at ports said Opperman.

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