KZN bomb attacks: Court hears 11 accused linked to ISIS

2018-10-23 21:30
A group of friends and family of those who were attacked at the Verulam mosque demonstrate outside the Verulam Magistrate’s Court on Monday.

A group of friends and family of those who were attacked at the Verulam mosque demonstrate outside the Verulam Magistrate’s Court on Monday. (Kerushun Pillay)

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Eleven men accused of a fatal attack at a KwaZulu-Natal Shia mosque and the placement of several explosive devices at Durban shopping centres have links to terrorist organisation ISIS, the Verulam Family Court heard on Tuesday.

This was revealed in an affidavit which Hawks Warrant Officer Benedict Chonco filed in opposition to the men's release on bail.

During their arrests, the men were found in possession of an ISIS newsletter and a manual on how to make bombs and carry out assassinations, the court heard.

Chonco revealed that some of the 11 men were positively identified for the Imam Hussein Mosque attack in Verulam and the placement of bombs at major Durban shopping centres.

CCTV footage placed some of them at the scenes where incendiary devices were planted, especially at Woolworths stores, he claimed.

The court heard that a white Hyundai Getz and VW Polo Vivo, allegedly used in the mosque attack and a Woolworths store in Gateway in Umhlanga, were registered in the name of businessman Farhad Hoomer. Hoomer is accused one in the case.

Chonco said Hoomer was also identified as the leader of the group.

He said, according to information they received, Hoomer's house in Resevoir Hills was used as a training premises for the group.

The group had been meeting for more than a year, the court heard.

READ: KZN mosque attack: 'They have committed heinous crimes' - chairperson

A device similar to the device used in the mosque attack and those found at Woolworths stores was found at Hoomer's home.

His cellphone was also linked to the mosque attack in Verulam.

The court also heard that the three victims of extortion in the matter had previous dealings with Hoomer.

They had all received an SMS demanding $100 000 (about R1.4m) in order for the accused to allegedly continue with their activities.

Hoomer is also the owner of the house where a victim was found kidnapped.

In the affidavit, read out by prosecutor Adele Barnard, Chonco said he was opposed to the men's release on bail because of the seriousness of the charges.

He submitted that the accused might interfere with the investigations if they were released because further suspects were still being sought.

Hoomer, Ahmed Haffejee‚ Thabit Mwenda‚ Mohamad Akbar‚ Seiph Mohamed‚ Amani Mayani‚ Abubakar Ali‚ Abbas Jooma‚ Mahammed Sobruin‚ Ndikumana Shabani and Iddy Omani applied for bail via sworn affidavits on Monday.

The accused are from South Africa, Burundi, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Tanzania, the court heard.

They face 14 charges including murder, attempted murder, arson, extortion and the violation of Pocdatara (The Protection of Constitutional Democracy Against Terrorist and Related Activities Act).

Magistrate Irfaan Khalil postponed the case to Thursday afternoon for the defence's replying affidavit.

Read more on:    isis  |  durban

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