S.Africans linked to al-Qaeda - Cwele

Some South Africans are working with terrorist organisations including al-Qaeda.

State Security Minister Siyabongwa Cwele. Picture: gov.za

CAPE TOWN - Several South African citizens were actively linked to international terrorism organisations and in particular al-Qaeda, State Security Minister Siyabonga Cwele said on Tuesday.

He was responding to questions during his budget speech vote in Parliament, Cape Town.

On Monday, it was reported that military training for al-Qaeda was being carried out in South Africa.

Cwele did not provide details.

"Through our regular assessments, we've become aware that some South Africans are actively linked to some elements which are linked to some terrorist activities elsewhere, particularly al-Qaeda."

Cwele said it was one thing to gather intelligence.

The minister added it takes time to make evidence stand up in court.

At the same time, the Police Ministry will have to face Parliament to answer allegations that top secret surveillance of al-Qaeda training camps in South Africa was brought to a halt.

The year-long Daily Maverick investigation established the country's intelligence services had been monitoring at least three such camps for almost a decade, but shut down the surveillance operation in 2010.

A prominent family has allegedly been identified as key figures in setting up the secret military training camps.

Johannesburg dentist Junaid Ismail Dockrat and his cousin, Farhad Ahmed Dockrat, a Muslim cleric, were identified as al-Qaeda financiers, recruiters and facilitators in the report.