The Daily Maverick, an online portal of news and analysis ran with the story Al-Qaeda: Alive and well in South Africa this morning. The lengthy piece details a year-long investigation by De Wet Potgieter revealing “surprising inaction by police despite incriminating evidence about secret military training camps and sophisticated sniper training at three well-documented locations as well as several others across South Africa.”
The article charts the business movements and financial history of the Dockrat family who “catapulted into the world focus in 2007 when US terrorism financing trackers noted ‘suspicious financial transactions’ coming out of South Africa that ‘appeared’ to benefit al-Qaeda.” At its base, the article quotes extensively from Professor Hussein Solomon from the Department of Political Studies and Governance at the University of the Free State. He has long tried to maintain that South Africa confronts a tangible terror threat in the form of terrorists targeting our country. To date his academic integrity remains on the line – in 2010 Professor Solomon was ‘convinced ’ al-Qaeda intended attacking and targeting the Fifa World Cup.
Potgeiter asks why police crime intelligence as well as the specialised police unit, Crimes Against the State, and the State Security Agency carried out ‘competent’ and ‘inspired intelligence-gathering’ on their operations yet were forced to stop their monitoring by ‘operatives of an unidentified state agency’.
Commenting on Sabahul Muslim Drive Time with Ml Sulaimaan Ravat, analyst Abie Dawjee made light of the article calling at best ‘rehashed lazy journalism’ intended to create fear and sensationalism. He felt that Muslim’s should laugh of the absurdity of these Al Qaeda ‘allegations’ and ‘suspicions’ saying that lengthy surveillance and thick dossiers of information could by no means be taken as concrete evidence of an actual or informed threat.
Secretary General of the Jamiatul Ulema South Africa, Ml Ebrahim Bham slated allegations that the masjid named in the article; Darus Salaam Muslim Centre in Laudium was particularly popular among Pakistani and Malawian Muslims. He mentioned that immigrants make up a large part of all masjid congregations and this was an issue related to our Home Affairs Department, not the particular masaajid immigrants attend. He further commented that credible proof, not lazy so-called investigative journalism and generalised fear mongering be brought to the table, in the interests of harmony in our country.
Radio Islam Programming