The Democratic Alliance wants Police Minister Nathi Mthethwa to brief Parliament on what the South African intelligence community knows about Muslim extremist activity in the country, according to Eyewitness News.
A year-long investigation by the Daily Maverick revealed that South African security agencies have been monitoring Al-Qaeda-linked training camps in South Africa for years.
According to the Daily Maverick report, the State Security Agency and the specialised police unit, Crimes Against the State, have been aware of the terrorist activity for years, but have taken no action against those allegedly involved.
Abie Dawjee, director of the Research and Information Network, believes that the Daily Maverick report is little more than a rehashing of a 2010 report that suggested there would be terror attacks at the Football World Cup, EWN reported.
Dajee was quoted by EWN as saying: “Government has the responsibility to show whether any activity related to terrorism has been uncovered or not. Unsubstantiated fear-mongering must be stopped.”
The Hawks have refused to respond to questions on the matter because they do not comment on on-going investigations, EWN reported.
According to the Daily Maverick, Operation Kanu, which was launched shortly after the 9/11 terrorist attacks, was a top secret investigation into extremist Muslim activities in the country. Despite evidence of secret military training camps, the operation was brought to an abrupt halt at the beginning of 2010 allegedly as a result of orders “from the top”.
Activity was initially monitored at a farm near Vlakplaas, the former base of Apartheid hit squads, then at a farm called Greylock in the Klein Karoo, and finally at a new development along the Garden Route called Tsitsikamma Coastal Golf Estate.
The family at the centre of the investigation – a well-known Muslim family that immigrated to South Africa from Pakistan in the early 1990s, the Dockrat family – has been on terrorist watch-lists since 2007.
In 2007, the US linked financial transactions coming out of South Africa that appeared to benefit Al-Qaeda to Junaid Ismail Dockrat and his cousin Farhad Ahmed Dockrat. At the time, the South African government blocked attempts by the US to have the brothers designated terrorists by the UN Security Council’s Al-Qaeda and Taliban Sanctions Committee, the Daily Maverick reported.
According to the Daily Maverick, the British and US intelligence agencies, which have been frustrated by South Africa’s inaction against perceived international terror threats, have been putting pressure on South Africa to act against terrorist threats ever since it emerged that Operation Kanu had come to a standstill.