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Spy Cables: Pagad was being tracked by NIA

The so-called spy-cables claim the NIA kept a close eye on the movement’s operations.

A Screengrab from Al Jazeera’s Spy Cables video shows a South African State Security leaked document.

CAPE TOWN - Anti-crime movement People Against Gangsterism and Drugs (Pagad) says it is not surprised at this week's revelations that the National Intelligence Agency (NIA) was spying on the group.

A series of classified documents including sensitive information gathered by South Africa's State Security Agency (SSA), released by the Al Jazeera network show the NIA was tailing Pagad members.

The so-called spy-cables claim the NIA kept a close eye on the movement's operations during a time in which it was notorious for bombing the homes of suspected drug dealers.

Pagad's Haroon Orrie says they've always suspected they were being tracked by spies.

"We were well aware of rogue intelligence and their operations in this country. A few years ago we actually made mention of it in our court cases and you know some people thought it was a load of hogwash we were talking about. Today we see the reality of what we spoke about."

At the same time, synagogues across the country have been placed on high alert amid fears they could be the target of terror attacks following the leaking of the spy-cables this week.

Some of the documents claim that terror group Al-Qaeda had planned to attack a bi-annual Jewish Conference in Cape Town five years ago.

The South African Jewish Board of Deputies(SAJBD) has called on Jewish institutions to be vigilant and that additional security measures should be put in place.

On its Facebook page, the organisation mentions the threat of an attack over religious holiday last September and another planned attack in 2010.

It also calls for security upgrades at shuls and schools.

The leaked documents mention a meeting held in Dubai between two al-Qaeda operatives in which they discussed the attacks.

Although they never materialised, it is unclear whether any more attacks are planned.

In the meantime the SAJBD says it is keeping an eye on the situation.

QUESTIONS RAISED ABOUT LEAKING OF SPY CABLES

Questions have emerged over the motive for the leak, and who exactly is setting the agenda.

The Institute for Security Studies's Anton du Plessis says the leak appears to have been released by someone with a global political agenda which plays into two important scenarios.

"The one is the negotiations around Iran's nuclear programme and the engagement the US has with that. The second one is linked to the Israeli elections and government."

Red 24's Ryan Cummings says it does appear as if the leaks are part of a greater strategy.

Unlike the documents from US operative Edward Snowden focusing on electronic signals intelligence, the 'Spy Cables' deal with human intelligence.

The identities of the operatives have been removed but details on the agency and its operations are expected to be revealed.

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