Sunday, January 17, 2010

Sizing up 2010 terror threat in South Africa

South Africa's intelligence agencies have jacked up their investigations into possible terrorist threats, specifically emanating from Somalia, according to a top intelligence analyst. But Mark Schroeder, director of sub-Saharan Africa for the United States intelligence company Strategic Forecasting, insisted that crime, rather than terrorism, remains the major threat for tourists traveling to South Africa for the Fifa World Cup. Schroeder said that although an al-Qaeda-linked Somali militant group, al-Shabaab, had allegedly established a network in the Cape Flats that had led to South African spooks visiting Somalia and Kenya, it was unlikely that Muslim extremists would launch attacks in South Africa, as it was their "logistical hub".

Schroeder was interviewed in the wake of a deadly terrorist attack on the Togolese national football team in Angola that left three people dead and eight injured. Additionally, in September last year the US government closed its embassy in Pretoria and all other US government offices for two days after intelligence reports that al-Shabaab was planning to bomb American interests in South Africa. It is believed that Al-Shabaab are established in South Africa and are using the Somali diaspora for fundraising. But after the September threats against US facilities in South Africa, the South African Secret Service (Sass) sent agents to Kenya and Somalia to gather their own intelligence. In reality, crime in South Africa is the "primary concern" for tourists -- "not just making them aware of the problem, but explaining the do's and don'ts of traveling in South Africa, where they should go and where they shouldn't".



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Who am I?

I am a law enforcement professional with over 35 years experience in both sworn and civilian positions. I have service in 3 different countries in both the northern and southern hemispheres.

My principal areas of expertise are: (1) Intelligence, (2) Training and Development, (3) Knowledge Management, and (4) Administration/Supervision.

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