Terror-accused Thulsie twins' case postponed

2017-05-29 12:32
Supporters of the Thulsie twins at the Johannesburg Magistrate's Court. (File, News24)

Supporters of the Thulsie twins at the Johannesburg Magistrate's Court. (File, News24)

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Johannesburg – The case against the terror-accused Thulsie twins was postponed in the Johannesburg Magistrate's Court on Monday.

Brandon-Lee and Tony-Lee Thulsie, 23, appeared briefly in court on Monday. State prosecutor Advocate Adele Barnard told the court there was a lot of evidence, which included digital evidence against the accused.

Barnard said an analyst that was busy with the draft report was on leave. She asked for the matter to be postponed for two months.

"The State hasn't indicated when they started this process and how long they will take. The State cannot hold the investigation open indefinitely," their lawyer Ashraf Parak said.

Parak said earlier the State asked for a postponement of three months to request information from foreign agencies.

'Firearms, explosives, and possibly poison'

"Now the State comes and asked for a further two months. The accused have been in custody since July 2016, the investigations have been going on prior to their arrest, it has been going on for two years," he said.

The twins were arrested during raids in Newclare and Azaadville on the West Rand in July 2016.

According to the charge sheet, the brothers were allegedly linked to the self-proclaimed Islamic State (ISIS) group and were allegedly planning to detonate explosives at a US embassy and "Jewish institutions" in South Africa.

In the indictment submitted to the court in April, the State lists 12 activities the twins were instructed to carry out – using firearms, explosives, and possibly poison.

"In August 2015 [Tony-Lee] became a participant in a series of Telegram chats with Abu Fidaa, an ISIS network, and other persons whose real identities are unknown to the State, during which he was instructed to: 

 - Attack the best targets involving 'US/Brit/French interest in SA';
 - Kill Zapiro, who drew the Messenger of Allah cartoon;
 - Kill Jews who fight in Israel and return to South Africa;
 - Kill affluent Jews; and 
 - Kill gay imam, "as yet unidentified".

Other targets included King David High School in Linksfield in Johannesburg, the UK High Commission, the embassies of the USA and Russia, the First Secretary to the French Mission, Jewish investment banker Roy Topol, SA Zionist Federation Telfed, state-owned arms manufacturer Denel, Jewish community events and foreign interests at airports.

'How to live a double life'

Tony-Lee is accused of discussing terrorist plans with an undercover US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) agent between May and June 2016. He believed the agent was an ISIS operative based in the US. He allegedly sought advice on making bombs and asked for funding.

He is also accused of soliciting support for ISIS using his personal Facebook page.

Brandon-Lee allegedly acquired the Mujahideen Poisons Handbook by Abdek-Aziz, and the manual entitled How to Survive in the West: A Mujahid Guide, which teaches its readers how to "live a double life" and "how to keep your secret life private".

Earlier, the State said that the brothers collected issues of Inspire, the magazine of al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula.

The issues contained an illustrated guide on making explosive devices, inciting participation in "jihad" and provided training in weapons and combat, the indictment said.

The defence also wanted to look at the docket to make a decision on centralising the fraud charge from Ficksburg in the Free State.

The matter was postponed to July 5 for further investigation.

Read more on:    isis  |  tony-lee thulsie  |  brandon-lee thulsie  |  johannesburg  |  security  |  crime

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