Saturday, June 26, 2010

Zim holds 'terrorists' at SA border

Zim holds 'terrorists' at SA border
25/06/2010 00:00:00
by Staff Reporter

Thwarted ... Our headline on Iraq arrest of alleged World Cup terror mastermind

ZIMBABWE says it has arrested two suspected terrorists trying to enter South Africa, raising new fears of a terror plot against the ongoing FIFA World Cup.
The state-run Herald newspaper reported Friday that the two men were Pakistani nationals, one of them a “wanted international terrorist”.
The newspaper said the men were seized on Sunday at the Beitbridge border where Zimbabwe and South Africa are operating a joint command post for the duration of the World Cup which runs until July 11.
“It is understood that the two flew from Saudi Arabia to Tanzania where they fraudulently acquired Kenyan passports before connecting to Zimbabwe by road,” the Herald reported, citing police sources.
Zimbabwe’s national police spokesman Wayne Bvudzijena said there would be a media briefing on the arrests later Friday.
The two men, said to be undergoing interrogation in the capital Harare, have not been named.
The arrests have echoes of last month’s claims by Iraqi officials that they had smashed an Al Qaeda plot to cause carnage at the tournament. Iraqi authorities said the mastermind was 30-year-old Saudi national, Abdullah Azzam Saleh Misfar al-Qahtani, who was arrested in Baghdad.
No reaction on the Zimbabwe arrests could be immediately obtained from South African police who say they have a water-tight security plan to ensure the safety of teams and fans.


Terrorverdächtige an Grenze zu Südafrika verhaftet

Wegen Terrorismusverdachts sind zwei Pakistanis beim versuchten Grenzübertritt nach Südafrika von simbabwischer Polizei festgenommen worden. Laut der staatlich kontrollierte simbabwische Zeitung "The Herald", hätten die Sicherheitskräfte die Männer als Imran Muhammad (33) und Chaudry Parvez Ahmed (39) identifiziert. Der südafrikanische Rundfunk berichtete, dass mindestens einer der beiden von Interpol wegen terroristischer Aktivitäten gesucht werde.
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Muhammad und Ahmed hätten versucht, mit gefälschten Pässen am Grenzübergang Beitbridge (Bild) in den Kap-Staat einzureisen. Beide seien von Saudi-Arabien aus zunächst nach Tansania geflogen, wo sie sich nach diesen Informationen falsche kenianische Papiere vor der Weiterfahrt nach Simbabwe besorgt hätten. Mittlerweile sitzen sie in der Hauptstadt Harare in Haft.
Angesichts der weltweiten Aufmerksamkeit, die die Fußball-Weltmeisterschaft hervorruft, war die Gefahr eines Terroranschlages von den Organisatoren nicht ausgeschlossen worden. Südafrika war allerdings in der Vergangenheit kaum von Terror- Attacken betroffen. Die Grenze zu Simbabwe gilt jedoch als extrem durchlässig, weshalb während der WM die Sicherheitsvorkehrungen erheblich verschärft wurden.


Police deny terror arrest

2010-06-26 12:43
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Johannesburg - Two Pakistani nationals were arrested in Zimbabwe on suspicion of being illegal immigrants when they tried to cross into South Africa, national police said on Saturday.Colonel Vish Naidoo said the two had suspicious documents when they were arrested by the Zimbabwean police.Naidoo denied earlier reports that the men were held on suspicion of terrorism."Nothing like that [terrorism] was ever discussed. The Zimbabwean police only arrested the two because they had wrong documents. We were informed because they were trying to come to South Africa," he said.Naidoo did not have further details on the matter.According to media reports the two were Imran Muhammad, 33, and Chaudry Parvez Ahmed, 39 and they tried to enter South Africa via Beitbridge border crossing with Zimbabwe on Sunday.Zimbabwe's government-run Herald newspaper said police believed the suspects tried to enter the country with fake passports.The men flew from Saudi Arabia to Tanzania where they allegedly acquired fake Kenyan passports before entering Zimbabwe overland.Police did not release further details. "They are in Harare and in custody as investigations on the case continue," the Herald quoted a police spokesperson as saying.


Pakistani terror suspects named

26/06/2010 00:00:00
by Staff Reporter

Target ... Concern terror groups may target world cup finals

Police have named the suspected Pakistani terrorists who were arrested Bietbridge Border Post last Sunday as they tried to enter South Africa raising fears terror groups could be trying to target the football tournament underway in the country.
Imran Muhammad, 33, and compatriot Chaudry Parvez Ahmed (39) were nabbed by alert immigration officers as they attempted to cross the border last Sunday night using fake passports.
South Africa is hosting the FIFA World Cup Finals and the purpose of the duo’s visit to the country remains unclear.
Zimbabwe and South Africa are operating a joint command post at Beitbridge for the duration of the tournament.
Muhammed is said to be wanted in Pakistan for alleged involvement in the terrorist attacks that hit Mumbai, India in 2008.
The Herald newspaper reported that Muhammad and Ahmed flew from Saudi Arabia to Tanzania, where they fraudulently acquired Kenyan passports before connecting to Zimbabwe by road.
But immigration officers at Beitbridge discovered the fake documents and alerted the police border control officers leading to their arrest.
A police spokesman said investigations were continuing.
"They are in Harare and in custody as investigations on the case continue," ZRP spokesperson Wayne Bvudzijena was quoted as saying.
South Africa has repeatedly given assurances that the soccer tournament will be safe but fears remain that the country could be vulnerable to attack.
Officials insist South Africa’s non-aligned status and the lack of any substantial local support for militant groups insulates the country from terrorism.
Still he country’s security services and the football governing body FIFA are cooperating with foreign security agencies and Interpol to ensure the safety of both visitors and teams participating in the tournament.
Experts say while South Africa has not been a target in recent years, terrorist groups might ‘target the event and not the country’.
"It (World Cup) is the biggest sports event in the world. Although South Africa might think we are beyond the interests of groups like al Qaeda, the event is the target, not the country," said Anneli Botha, from the Institute of Security Studies in Pretoria.


Zimbabwean police identify pakistani terrorist suspect
Saturday, 26 June 2010 00:29 Editor

Zimbabwean police have identified the suspected international terrorist arrested at Beitbridge Border Post on Sunday night as Imran Muhammad who is wanted in connection with the Mumbai bombings that left hundreds dead.
Muhammad (33), a Pakistani, arrested on Sunday along with fellow countryman Chaudry Parvez Ahmed (39) as they tried to enter South Africa are now in custody as an international terrorist investigations begins. The duo were using fake passports.
The arrest of the two entering South Africa during the 2010 Fifa Soccer World Cup has raised much worry around the world.
The state-run Herald said while authorities would not divulge how investigations were proceeding, the Daily Times of Pakistan in January this year reported that the Special Investigation Group of the Federal Investigation Agency was looking for Imran Muhammad as well as 119 other suspected terrorists.
It could not be determined yesterday if this was the same person who is now in custody in Zimbabwe.
Indications were that the Muhammad wanted in Pakistan was allegedly involved in the terror attacks that rocked Mumbai, India, in November 2008.
However, a search of the online database of Interpol’s wanted persons did not return any matches.
Another online search of legal cases involving the name in the past decade showed a case in America of a Pakistani named Imran Muhammad Butt who overstayed in the US in November 2001 and said he could not return home because he would be persecuted because of "membership in a particular social group".
It could not be established at the time of writing if this was the same person.
Sources said Muhammad was normally based in the Chilean capital of Santiago.
It is understood that Muhammad and Ahmed flew from Saudi Arabia to Tanzania, where they fraudulently acquired Kenyan passports before connecting to Zimbabwe by road.
Their luck ran out on Sunday night when an immigration officer at Beitbridge discovered they were using fake passports.
The official alerted the Police Border Control Unit leading to their arrest.
Zimbabwe police are still investigating the case and would not give away anything yesterday.
Chief police spokesperson Senior Assistant Commissioner Wayne Bvudzijena said the two were assisting police with investigations.
"They are in Harare and in custody as investigations on the case continue."
Assistant regional immigration officer Mr Evans Siziba added: "It’s an issue that is before the police.
"Maybe when they are through we will be at liberty to comment."
Police and Immigration officials would also not say if an international arrest warrant had been issued or what particular acts of terror the suspected terrorist was wanted for and in which country he was sought.
South African and Zimbabwean police have assured visitors that they will thwart crimes of concern during the 2010 Fifa Soccer World Cup, which started on June 11 and ends on July 11.
Zimbabwean police are in South Africa assisting their counterparts for the duration of the tournament.

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