A file picture of an al-Qaeda training camp. Picture: CNN
Barry Bateman | 6 months ago
JOHANNESBURG - It has emerged that the police's specialised unit, Crimes Against the State (CATS) and the State Security Agency (SSA) have uncovered al-Qaeda-linked military training camps operating in South Africa, but are doing nothing about them.
The year-long investigation by the Daily Maverick revealed inaction by the police despite incriminating evidence about the training camps and those who set them up.
State intelligence agencies started monitoring the activities soon after the World Trade Centre attack on September 11, 2001 but ceased their surveillance in 2010.
After nearly a decade of top secret surveillance and intelligence gathering, it has emerged that state intelligence has even stopped spying on known military training camps.
The Daily Maverick investigation found camps setup near Erasmia, east of Pretoria, on a farm in the Klein Karoo and attempts to create one at a golf estate along the Garden Route in Tsitsikamma.
The camps are equipped with training facilities and barracks which are believed to sleep mostly Pakistani and Malawian immigrants.
The operations are said be led by Johannesburg dentist, Junaid Ismail Dockrat and his cousin, Muslim cleric Farhad Ahmed Dockrat who have been identified as al-Qaeda financiers, recruiters and facilitators.
The pair dismissed the Tsitsikamma claims saying it emanated from a disgruntled former employee.
The Hawks declined to explain why their operation was halted, saying they do not comment on ongoing investigations.
United States and British intelligence agencies regard South Africa as an international terrorist halfway house.