Faizel Patel – 30/03/2021
A senior training coordinator, ENACT at the Institute for Security Studies says the environment in Palma Mozambique was conducive for a terrorist attack.
The violence in Palma continues, with no clarity yet on the number of people who died since last Wednesday when ISIS-linked fighters occupied and ransacked it.
This was despite French energy giant Total claiming the town was secure.
At least one South African was killed while trying to flee.
Speaking to Radio Islam, the ISS’ Willem Els says terrorist groups have a strategy to prey on local communities where there are grievances.
“We can actually say the table has been laid for them. In Africa unfortunately it seems we are prone to create these type of environments for these people to move in. if we look at Boko Haram, what is happening in Somalia and in Libya and in Africa, there has been many this type of situations that were created.”
Els says Palma was a lucrative target for the terrorist group as majority of the people are expats.
“For three years they’ve been killing more than two thousand-seven hundred people, the majority of them civilians that were caught up. Now, all of a sudden, they targeted for the first time the expats where foreigners were targeted. The whole world took notice of that and now all of a sudden this becomes a very important situation for the world to react.”
Els says while attacks may also be possible in South Africa, the country must be pragmatic and ‘sober’ about how they address terror threats.
“We know it is a fact, it is on record that are South Africans there (Mozambique), we do not know exact how many are there. But, should those people come back, we might open ourselves for the same scenario. Apart from that we also know that after South Africa was reported that they are going to assist, there was a threat from ISIS that they will retaliate in South Africa.”
Els says South African needs to prepare should there be a terrorist attack in the country.
Listen to the interview with Willem Els