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Have other South African teens been recruited to join Isis?

The State Security Ministry is following all leads after the near-recruitment of a local teenager to Isis.

FILE: The Department of Home Affairs said amendments to immigration laws would regulate the movement of minors across South African borders. Picture Supplied.

JOHANNESBURG - The State Security Ministry on Tuesday said it was trying to determine whether other South African children had been recruited to join the Islamic State (Isis) in the terror group's efforts to create a worldwide caliphate.

The ministry is said to be following all leads after a Cape Town teenager was removed from a plane bound for Johannesburg on Sunday.

This after evidence was found on her social media platforms relating to communication with the terror group.

It's believed the teenager was planning to meet an Isis scout.

The ministry probed all the 15-year-old's online activities, including a payment to an unknown source, to find any evidence of who may have asked her to join the cause.

The ministry's Brian Dube said he couldn't say anything on how the girl was tracked down.

"We are still investigating and we don't want to compromise our work by discussing what is happening."

Questions were also being raised as to why the girl was not sent to her destination under security supervision.

Dube said the details of the operation that led to her being taken into custody would only be made public when the investigation is complete.

HOME AFFAIRS AMMENDS IMMIGRATION LAWS

Meanwhile, the Department of Home Affairs said amendments to immigration laws would regulate the movement of minors across South African borders to prevent any more would-be jihadists from joining Isis.

The department raised concerns that a child under 18 was able to board a plane to Johannesburg.

The department's Mayihlome Tshwete said the regulations would make it difficult for minors to travel without a verified guardian's consent.

"It often happens that minors travel with people who are said to be relatives but that can't be verified."

At the same time South African terrorism researcher Jasmine Opperman said adults who met the minors on the other side of the flight also needed to be verified.

"It's an organised network that we are faced with and we can't underestimate that we could have them working in the country."

LISTEN: SA terrorist researcher, Jasmine Opperman, talks Isis recruitment

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