SA security forces remain vigilant against terrorist threats

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Cape Town – State Security Minister David Mahlobo says his department will focus on tackling the rapidly growing non-traditional security treats to ensure the country’s economic and social security is secured.

The Minister said this as the security forces recently had to deal with attacks on foreign nationals and prevented a teen from being recruited by the extremist terrorist group ISIS, amongst other threats.

He said this when briefing journalists ahead of delivering his department’s budget vote in Parliament on Tuesday.

“During the course of our work, we have taken note of the rapidly growing non-traditional security threats which involve the struggle for resources embedded in the pursuit of energy, security, environmental degradation, forced immigration, international terrorism and insurgency.

“Included in these are other threats of ascendary of non-state actors in drug trafficking, proliferation of arms and ammunition, money laundering, financial crime and illicit crime,” he said.

Over the past few months, Africa has been faced with terrorist threats, including the recent barbaric killing of innocent students with scores injured in Garissa University College in Kenya, the beheading of 21 Egyptians by ISIS and attacks of mosques, which have become a challenge for all nations. 

Within our borders, the luring of a 15-year-old girl into ISIS, who was eventually prevented from flying out of the country, is further testimony of this stark reality of international terrorism, the Minister said.

“Our quick intervention in this regard, working closely with the law enforcement agencies, ensured that we can prevent this from happening.

“As we have indicated, there is a global trend of online recruitment which targets mainly young people active on social media platforms,” he said.

More efforts to safeguard cyberspace

The Minister called on members of the public to be vigilant and to exercise caution when dealing with the cyberspace.

He said parents should supervise their children’s on-line activities without invading their privacy.

“We will engage the social cluster of government departments about public campaigns aimed at informing our people about the risks associated with cyberspace.

“As people we must recognise that cybersecurity system’s success depends on understanding the safety of the whole system, not merely protecting its individual parts.

“Consequently cybercrime and cyber-terrorism must be fought on the personal, social, and political fronts as well as the electronic front,” he said.

“As part of our plans, we will be working with universities and other research institutes to build the cybersecurity pipeline through competitive scholarship, fellowship and internship programs to attract top talent and develop systems that have command and control in our hands,” he said. –