Clinton warned SA of al-Shabaab link

2013-09-27 10:30
Former US secretary of state Hillary Clinton and International Relations Minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane. (Stephane de Sakutin, AFP)

Former US secretary of state Hillary Clinton and International Relations Minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane. (Stephane de Sakutin, AFP)

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Johannesburg - Former US secretary of state Hillary Clinton warned four years ago that terrorist group al-Shabaab was recruiting suicide bombers in South Africa, according to a report.

The Times reported on Friday that Clinton expressed her concerns during a meeting with International Relations and Co-operation Minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane in 2009.

"The minister and I are well aware that al-Shabaab is recruiting young Somalis from South Africa, Australia and the US to become suicide bombers, to participate in their efforts to turn Somalia into a safe haven for terrorism," Clinton said at the time.

State Security Agency spokesperson Brian Dube said Clinton was expressing the concern of the international community, adding that South Africa shares information with its global partners about terrorist threats.

It emerged this week that a suspect in the Nairobi attacks, Samantha Lewthwaite, obtained a fraudulent South African passport and lived in the country until 2011. Interpol has issued an arrest warrant for Lewthwaite, who is nicknamed the "white widow".

A researcher at the Institute for Security Studies told The Times that local authorities did not see Islamic extremism as a credible threat to South Africa, as the country is not involved in the war against terror, but this is putting the country at risk - both as a target and as a safe haven for terrorists.

Read more on:    al-shabaab  |  maite nkoana-mashabane  |  hillary clinton  |  kenya  |  kenya mall attack  |  terror

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