The Institute for Security Studies (ISS) has called on the public not to panic, but remain vigilant, amid US warnings of a possible terror attack in Sandton, north of Johannesburg, this weekend.
This follows a decision in March by the US Treasury to sanction four ISIS and ISIS-Mozambique financial facilitators in the country.
The US Embassy statement in Pretoria said they have no additional information regarding the timing, method or target of the potential attack on Saturday.
The US government in March designated the four alleged financial facilitators in South Africa under a 2001 Executive Order that seeks to impede terrorist funding.
The Presidency says threats to the country are continuously assessed and being acted upon to ensure citizens’ safety.
The South African State Security Agency is following up on a warning by the US Embassy in SA of a potential terrorist attack.
Researcher at the ISS Martin Ewi says, “It does not call for any panic. It is merely to advise citizens to be extra cautious, to have situational awareness wherever they are and they have given some tips in terms of where not to go. They have warned not to go to large gatherings and don’t be in Sandton.”
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The US government listed Farhad Hoomer, Siraaj Miller, Abdella Hussein Abadigga and Peter Charles Mbanga, adding that ISIS members and associates in South Africa were playing a role in facilitating the transfer of funds from the top of the ISIS hierarchy to branches across Africa.
The listings were done in line with an Executive Order that enables the US government to disrupt the financial support networks of terrorists and their organisations including blocking the assets of individuals and entities in relation to their illegal activities.
The latest South Africa alert comes after a similar dispatch was issued in Nigeria warning of a possible terrorist attack in Abuja.
The State Department’s Principal Deputy Spokesperson, Vedant Patel says, “The Department overall continues to adjust and make assessments on its posture at our various embassies and consulates throughout the world in line with local security, the environment and other factors such as public health. In the case of Nigeria yesterday, the department did approve the authorised departure, which is the technical term and the situation for family members and non-emergency US government officials in Abuja. We made this decision for voluntary departure out of an abundance of caution related to an elevated risk of terror attacks, specifically in Abuja. But it is still at the authorised departure level.”
VIDEO: Terror warning follows US decision to sanction ISIS facilitation networks:
Additional reporting by Sherwin Bryce-Pease.