Islamic States (IS) group is widely believed to be the world’s wealthiest militant group.
This accounts for why most countries all over the world strive to cast war and contain the spread of the militant group close to their borders.
Of course, South Africa is not left out, as it had severally pledged to support fight against terrorism within and outside the walls of its borders.
For instance, in December 2016, President Jacob Zuma reaffirmed the country’s commitment and unalloyed support to tackle the scourge of terrorism. His message trailed the terrorist attacks that rocked Yemen, Turkey, and Somalia at the time.
In tune with the push for a safer South Africa, the Home Affairs department announced that key ports at the OR Tambo International Airport have been upped following the arrest of a suspected member of Islamic State (IS) over the festive period.
On December 16, 2016, a Syrian national, a suspected extremist and known member of IS, traveled to South Africa and was stopped and refused entry at OR Tambo. He was apprehended with two passports, (Uruguayan and Syrian, in his possession).
Home Affairs Minister Malusi Gigaba said the Syrian national wasn’t arrested but was sent back to where he committed the transgression “because he did not break any South African law.”
South Africa had an outrageous outburst of immigrants in the year 2016, recording an amazing increase of 3.7% visitors entering the country at the national ports.
OR Tambo International Airport, one of South Africa’s major international airports, located in Kempton Park, Ekurhuleni, Gauteng, recorded a total of 977 961 visitors between December 9, 2016, and January 14, 2017, compared with 948 477 in the same period in 2015/16.
Gigaba said at a media briefing on Wednesday that the department is already working hard towards putting more reliable plans on the ground and to also appoint 58 immigration officials soon. Hopefully, its whopping R25 million for the 2017-18 financial year will go a long way in cementing these plans.
Keeping in check the proliferation of ‘radical’ militant groups like IS must be a major foreign policy goal of South Africa.
The militant group is notorious for its brutality, including mass killings, abductions, beheadings, crucifixions and mass shootings. The group uses these atrocities to terrorise their enemies and had justified them by making reference to the Koran and Hadith.
Though Muslims denounce IS members, some Muslims across the world still swear allegiance to its leader – Ibrahim Awad Ibrahim al-Badri al-Samarrai, better known as Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.
Who Are IS Members?
Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi’s followers are jihadists who see the rest of the world as anti-Islam beings bent on wrecking havoc on Islam. They also adhere to an extreme interpretation of Sunni Islam and consider themselves the only true believers. The group traces its roots back to the late Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, a Jordanian.
On June 7, 2006, while attending a meeting in an isolated safehouse in Hibhibhe, Zarqawi (born as Ahmad Fadeel al-Nazal al-Khalayleh) was killed by a joint U.S contingent in a targeted killing.
IS raises money via several ‘ungodly’ means which include robbing, looting, and extortion. Several million dollars are also raised per month through extortion from passers-by, or business people living in IS territory.