Is the Islamic State Ready to Open a Battlefront in South Africa?

Rodiano Bonacci
Febbraio 23, 2018

The British foreign office confirmed that a pair of Britons had been kidnapped and warned of a heightened risk of attacks by "terrorists" in South Africa.

An elderly British couple have been kidnapped in South Africa, police said Thursday, amid reports they were abducted by extremists suspected to have links to the Islamic State (ISIS) group. South Africa's elite police unit Hawks said the force was investigating the kidnapping.

It comes after two British nationals were kidnapped in the country, however local authorities have downplayed the connection to terrorism.

They arrested a man and woman in the town of Vryheid and identified them as Sayfydeen Aslam Del Vecchio, 38, and Fatima Patel, 27. But two people have been arrested in connection with the abduction - one of whom was detained two years ago in connection with the case of twin brothers accused of planning attacks ordered by IS. "In February 2018, two South African-British nationals were kidnapped", it said.

The United States and Britain warned in 2016 of the possibility of attacks by jihadist extremists in South Africa's major cities.

In an email to Reuters, the FCO said: "We have updated our travel advice to include this recent incident", referring to the kidnapping.

"The couple are still missing at this stage".

"The vehicle the couple was driving in was found yesterday (Wednesday), and is now undergoing forensic tests", he said.

Despite previous attacks on tourists in South Africa, no similar warning was issued by the Foreign Office with regards to terror. "This remains our assessment". "Our investigation so far has not revealed any links to terrorists, let alone [Isis]", Ramovha said.

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