Nabeela Vadwalla | 12 July 2016
In the early hours of Saturday 9 July 2016, three houses were raided on accounts of alleged terror related, by the Priority Crimes and Investigations unit in South Africa, known as the Hawks.
Four persons from two of the three households were arrested on separate charges for possession of questionable items and possible links to a terror listed organisation, ISIS.
Siblings Fatima and Ibrahim Patel of Azaadville, Krugersdorp, and brothers Brandon-Lee and Tony-Lee Thulsie, also known as Yaqeen ibn Hernani and Salahuddin ibn Hernani respectively, of Newclare in Johannesburg were arrested on separate charges.
Fatima was found to have twenty one bullets (.22, 9mm and .352 bullets) said to be leftovers from a hunting trip and a stun grenade, which Ibrahim Patel claims to have received while being a member of the local community police forum.
The Thulsie brothers were arrested on accusations of planning to detonate explosions at a mission of the United States of America located in South Africa and Jewish institutions between October 2015 and July this year, in the Johannesburg area.
Salaamedia’s Ebrahim Gangat spoke to the spokesperson for the Hawks, Brigadier Hangwani Mulaudzi, who said, “This investigation has been going on for some time. Since last year and we have been monitoring the activities of the four suspects that have been arrested and Saturday was a culmination of that investigation.”
Mulaudzi said that their execution plan was to act on information that the four had information about terrorism, not expecting to find incriminating evidence which led to their arrests. Cellphones, laptops were also seized.
The Patel’s legal representative, attorney Yousha Tayob from the Muslim Lawyers Association (MLA), said that the search and arrests were sensationalised.
Tayob explained that, “what has now been worrisome though is that these seizures have now been effected in terms of the Protection of Constitutional Democracy against Terrorist and Related Activities Act. I don’t know why these search warrants were issued in terms of terror legislation but be that as it may, they are now issued so we will deal with it.”
The Hawks believe that the Patel’s case is linked to the Thulsie brothers.
The Patel siblings will remain in custody and reappear at the Kagiso Magistrates Court on 18 July 2016.
As for the Thulsie brothers, they face charges of three counts of terror, for attempting terrorist attacks in Johannesburg. They will appear in court next week to apply for bail, and if found guilty will face 5 to 15 years imprisonment.