On Paintball and Terrorism in South Africa

2016-07-29 13:59

Today in an embarrassing turn of events regarding the “Thulsie Twins” ENCA legal journalist, Karyn Maughan posted a string of images to her twitter account, including written evidence from the state showing the twins.

“Accused 1 and 2 posing with appears (sic) to be an automatic rifle and what appears to a bomb belt (sic) and detonator. A photo taken by the accused which corresponds closely with the explosive vest warn (sic) by a suicide bomber. A photograph of one of the accused posing with what appears to be an assault rifle with a telescopic sight”

Here are the images:

The Twins in the picture provided by the state.

Now to most people, the images would be a huge concern. But for some that know how weapons looks and handle, as well as those that play games with paintball and airsoft markers, we know straight away what we are looking at here. Paintball equipment.

Various pieces of equipment used in paintball. Look familiar?

When I saw this I nearly fell off my chair laughing. Then when I realised what actually is being used as evidence of “terrorist activity” by the two in South Africa I nearly died of embarrassment. In the picture of the two brothers is clearly a picture of a paintball marker, and paintball related equipment. I find it very concerning that the Hawks would not know the difference between what are viewed as toys by many, and real assault rifles and explosives.

For the record, the assault rifle is one of the many new generation paintball markers you get all over the world. There is no telescopic sight on the rifle as the Hawks say. The detonator held by the brother on the left, is actually a remote line that attaches the CO2 canister to the paintball marker so that paint balls can be propelled out of the paintball marker. The “suicide vest” in the picture is not a suicide vest; it’s a tactical paintball belt with space for tank pouches and canisters that hold paintballs. The black object first in front of the canisters is a paintball hopper!

paintball nitrogen canister with remote line that attaches to paintball marker.

If this is what the Hawks are basing their case on they are already set to lose this case. A very embarrassing move by them, national intelligence and the state. What concerns me even more is that if authorities are going to conduct a witch hunt for terrorists, they had better be right when they catch them.

If you have a go at a certain group of people for long enough and brand them as extremists, and in this case “Islamic extremists” that are ISIS operators hell bent on blowing people up, you are going to anger people. And you may get what you are asking for. Be careful when looking for the devil everywhere, you may just find him!

This may be a case that we sit with ISIS fanboys that dream and talk about joining ISIS, as we see on many social media sites, it may not be. There is evidence that ISIS has been recruiting in South Africa, but we need to be very careful that we don't end up like the US and look for something that isn't as bad as it may seem. this sort of action fuels hatred and may well see real extremists carrying out attacks on South African Soil. And I don't believe we are prepared for acts that we have recently seen in Europe.

Having however looked at the statement by the state, there are alarming accusations made against the two brothers. There seems to be much more to this than just paintball equipment. I think it would be best for now, to wait and see what other evidence is presented in this case. It is a fascinating case and must be looked at with an open mind.

A tactical vest used by paintball players to hold canisters of extra paintballs and gas canisters.

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