Tuesday, June 29, 2010
Hints of a terror attack at the World Cup's doorstep
I have written before that care must be taken by South African security agents that after the world cup, South Africa remains famous for only one big hole, the one in Kimberly. We certainly do not want another 200 metre depression in the earth were Soccer City used to be! We therefore pray that recent denials by Police Senior Superintendent Vish Naidoo that the world cup is under a terrorist threat are merely for the sake of avoiding a panic frenzy and the much abhorred negative publicity that would come along with that. Behind the scenes, they had better be working their backsides off to investigate the activities of suspects like Imran Muhammad.
Muhammad, a Pakistani who is wanted by Interpol for suspected terrorist involvement in the 26/11 (Mumbai, India) attacks in 2008 was arrested by Zimbabwean authorities last week with fellow countryman Chaudry Parvez Ahmed, as they tried to cross the Beitbridge border into South Africa using fake Kenyan Passports. They are said to have entered Zimbabwe from Saudi Arabia via Tanzania. If that is not a spine chilling factor for the police, then we have pretty naive people down at the cop shop and at the Union Buildings.
When I blogged about a terrorist threat to the world cup,
(http://msibanda.blogspot.com/2010/05/al-qaeda-against-making-circle-bigger.html), it was less than a month before the event and an Al Qaeda operative had just been arrested and confessed that this Bin Laden group had plans to target the world cup. Certain quarters snubbed the news as untrue and pointed to reports of Al Qaeda denying any such plans. As if they would take responsibility for something that they have not yet executed! Some even wrote if off as a stage managed affair by the Americans to put pressure on South Africa to give them more say in world cup security organisation.
The world's think tank on terrorism, the Nine Eleven Finding Answers Foundation (NEFA) has in the past also warned of an eighty percent chance of such an attack. It is hoped therefore that each hint or suggestion relating to terrorism is being taken seriously. We would rather be wrong than to end up in the same situation of regret as the friends and family of the boy who cried wolf.