Terrorists are likely to try to carry out attacks in South Africa

This is the terse travel warning issued by the British Government following the kidnapping of two South African-British nationals earlier this month (February 2018).

The elderly couple are believed to have been kidnapped by members of the terror group ISIS near Vryheid in Northern KZN.

Following their disappearance, a man and woman who were under surveillance by counter-terrorism agents were arrested in a covert swoop in Vryheid.

There’s a threat from individuals who may have been inspired by terrorist groups, including Daesh (ISIS), to carry out lone wolf attacks targeting public places including where foreigners may gather adds the warning.

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“South African authorities have successfully disrupted several planned attacks and made a number of arrests related to terrorism offences including alleged plots to attack Jewish targets and western diplomatic missions.”

You can minimise your risk from terrorism by taking the following steps:

  • follow media reporting about the country and region
  • be vigilant in public areas and places that attract foreigners – e.g. hotels, restaurants, bars and crowded places like markets, malls or sports events. Always be aware of your surroundings.
  • look out for anything suspicious and if you see anything report it to the local police immediately – many terrorist attacks are foiled by the vigilance of the public. Where appropriate, you should also report concerns to your employer or your travel company.
  • think about the routes you use and have a plan of action to follow in the event of an incident.
  • try to avoid routines that could make you an easier target – vary the time and route of your regular journeys
    keep your mobile phone charged and with you, with emergency numbers programmed in.
  • consider the extent to which you might stand out from the crowd, particularly when travelling off the beaten track or to out-of-town destinations.
  • be discreet on social media about yourself and your travel and social plans.