Following rising terror alerts by foreign in the country, expert say this is the best time to tighten the south African security and keep all citizens alert.
The Institute for Security Studies (ISS) researcher on counter-terrorism Martin Ewi reiterated that since the British and Australian governments have backed the United States’ recent terror alerts in SA, we should take them seriously.
The Australian government had late yesterday, joined the US and the British government in passing a note of warning to the citizens travelling to South Africa‚ saying: “The US government issued a terrorism alert to its citizens in South Africa on 4 June‚ 2016.
Though the state security minister David Mahlobo called for citizens to remain calm, the counter-terrorism researcher Ewi said that South Africa should look into the warnings deeply to prevent attacks.
He added that in September last year the US also issued an alert but that other governments did not follow suit‚ making these warnings more serious.
“Each government has its own sources of intelligence. The US government has a longer history and more experience in gathering intelligence. It could get information from sources that South Africa does not have‚” Ewi said, adding that it is normal for terror alerts to be vague and that this was often a strategy used by governments to deal with sensitive information.
Ewi said this suggests that the US may have more information than what has been released to the public‚ including the identities of those planning an attack and that terrorists were likely to hit cities where it is easiest for them to achieve their objectives.
“If they have [local] connections in those two cities [Cape Town and Johannesburg] those cities will be easier for them to attack‚” he said, adding that Cape Town and Johannesburg have a high concentration of foreigners‚ making them obvious choices if the goal is to target US interests.
Meanwhile, the Police Minister Nathi Nhleko has assured the nation that behind-the-scenes work is being done to assess and deal with the latest terror alert issued by the United States government.
He said shopping malls have stepped up their security and government is actively working behind the scenes to establish the details around this threat
“There’s absolute no reason why we should actually start to panic around this particular matter precisely because of the work that we’re doing at a level of our operative together with the Americans who’ve brought this matter up to follow through on a number of those matters and so on.”
“There shall always be a number of reports that come to the fore and all we need to do is to follow through on a number of issues that get brought to our attention, and that’s what is essentially is part of processing – even in this particular matter.”
With all the assurance of the government to secure lives of its citizens, south Africans are still skeptical that the possibility of the government to secure the people.
While some believe on the security measures in the country, some believes government might not know how to handle the situation as situations like that has never happened in the country.