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SA's Isis-bound teen’s online records scrutinised

A girl (15) was stopped from boarding a flight which averted her from meeting with Isis recruiters.

FILE: The girl (15) was stopped from boarding a flight and stopped from meeting with Isis recruiters.

JOHANNESBURG - State Security officials are scouring the online records of a Cape Town teenager who was stopped from joining terrorist group, the Islamic State (Isis).

The 15-year-old girl from Kenwyn was taken off a plane bound for Johannesburg at the Cape Town International Airport on Sunday.

She was apparently meant to meet up with Isis recruiters.

It's understood evidence from her online activities, payments, as well as documents in her room were discovered, linking her to communication with the terrorist group.

The girl's family sought the help of Crime Line head Yusuf Abramjee, who then contacted the authorities.

"I was subsequently told by the family that they suspect that she might be involved with Isis because some documents and computer printouts were found in her bedroom. They confirmed that her passport was missing and possibly an amount of cash from the safe."

LISTEN: Crime Line head Yusuf Abramjee speaks on Cape Town teenager bound for Isis.

The school girl is now in her parent's custody while officials from the State Security Ministry probe her online records.

The ministry says it's concerned that social media is being used to recruit young children and it's doing everything in its power to find any evidence of a recruitment cell.

State Security Minister David Mahlobo says social networking sites are perfect hunting grounds for terrorist organisations looking for new members.

"It is the very same space where the terrorist organisation will try to radicalise these young people because they're vulnerable and can't make a sense of judgement on other issues."

The ministry has renewed calls for parents and community members to monitor and report any strange behaviour.

At the same time, the Institute for Security Studies (ISS) says while the case of the 15-year-old should be thoroughly investigated, it should not be blown out of proportion.

It says such organisations are becoming increasingly proficient in using social networks to recruit members.

The institute's Anton du Plessis says the school girl could have been deliberately targeted.

"What it does demonstrate, as we've seen from the recruitment of very young people in other countries, is that Isis is very strategic and clever in terms of how they target the youth and what I think we have here is a situation of an immature, very young person who obviously has some stuff going on in her life and is desperate to belong."

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