Militant Somali jihadists granted asylum in South Africa
2010-05-23 JOHANNESBURG, South Africa. Among the hundreds of Somalians streaming into South Africa every month, at least 14 members of the Al-Shabaab terrorist group, including a chemistry-scientist and several teachers, have been given refugee status by the home-affairs department, according to an investigation by Afrikaans Sunday paper “Rapport” journalist Jacques Pauw.
He writes: “The Department of Home Affairs who questioned Somalians before granting them refugee-permits, informed the National Intelligence Agency of the presence of various supporters of the Somalian militant group Al-Shabaab, and that they were granted refugee status in South Africa.
Picture left: March 2010 lineup of Al-Shabaab leadership source Annalytiger.files.Wordpress.com
Paul quotes a ‘highly-placed source’ at home affairs as sayng that the NIA had ‘intercepted’ 14 reported members of the Al-Shabaab group at the Lebombo border post between South Africa and Mozambique in April. Amongst the 14 Al-Shabaab members was a chemistry-scientist and several teachers. Pauw’s source said the entire group was questioned and held in detention at the Komatipoort police station for several weeks – but that since then, ‘nobody knows what has happened to them.”
The NIA refuses to comment. Last September the NIA announced an investigation into the activities of Al-
Shabaab in South Africa after the sudden, temporary closure of the United States embassy in Pretoria. This followed after ‘a call was monitored’ between members of Al-Shabaab in Cape Town and in Somalia – and which call had dealt with ways in which US interests could be attacked in South Africa. Apparently the attack was being planned in revenge of the death of al-Shabaab leader Adan Hashi Ayro - the group's military leader who was killed in a US missile attack on May 1 2009.
Pauw was informed by Mr Osman Ali - spokesman for the Somalian Council in South Africa -- that he ‘was not aware of the presence of Al-Shabaab in South Africa’. He did however admit that ‘a few fundamentalists may have entered the country. Ali said “Somalians would never jeopardise their refugee-status by getting involved in terrorist activities.” http://www.rapport.co.za/Suid-Afrika/Nuus/Militante-Somali%C3%ABrs-is-vlugtelinge-in-SA-20100522