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Minister: No details from US on possible terror attacks in SA

David Mahlobo says the situation will be monitored because SA cannot afford to be complacent.

Sandton CBD. Picture: Gary Oberholzer/Talk Radio 702

JOHANNESBURG - State Security Minister David Mahlobo says the US embassy has not shared specific details about its warning of a possible terrorist attack in this country.

Mahlobo says there is no immediate danger or threat to any South Africans.

On Tuesday, the US embassy released a statement warning its citizens that it has credible information of a possible attack by extremists in South Africa.

But Mahlobo says they have done their own assessment and no imminent attacks are possible.

"We're not saying that we're dismissing it but in terms of our working relations, the information has been shared on the ground and the assessment that my office has come to a conclusion that there is no immediate threat or danger that is faced by any person who is within the Republic of South Africa."

However, Mahlobo says the situation will be monitored because the country cannot afford to be complacent.

NO IMMINENT THREAT FOR SA

Mahlobo says there is no immediate danger to any person in South Africa, American or not.

"And we can confirm that in terms of our own assessment, in terms of our own information we have at our disposal, there's no imminent threat that we can confirm that can happen to any person whose actually residing in the Republic."

He says his department is working closely with US authorities.

"Our country remains relatively stable but we'll continue as government to monitor any kind of radicalisation or extremism."

Mahlobo says his department will continue to monitor any threat of or confirmed terrorist activity in South Africa.

He says, his teams are monitoring social media platforms in particular, to prevent possible recruitment and radicalisation as has been seen in the past.

SECURITY EXPERTS WARN US CITIZENS

Head of the Institute for Security Studies (ISS)'s Jakkie Cilliers says the threat is likely based on credible information that has been verified but it's an unwelcome surprise for South Africa.

"So one always place this into relative perspective, South Africa, there seems to be a threat at the moment, it should be based on very specific intelligence."

Former US Diplomat and International Relations analyst, Brooks Spector says US citizens should go about their lives but be wary of who they identify themselves to.

"You need to think about whether or not you want to identify yourself with a T-shirt that says USA all the way, for example."

Meanwhile, security analyst, Ryan Cummings, says it's not the first time US institutions in South Africa have reacted to threats.

"Similar warning was issued in 2009 also in September and that was in response to an alleged communication that was intercepted by the US authorities in South Africa.