The US embassy in Pretoria has issued a security message to its citizens living in South Africa, asking them to be extra vigilant at malls and other tourist hotspots.
The embassy said it had received information that the Islamic State of Iraq (Isis) had called on followers to carry out terrorist attacks globally during the holy fasting month, set to start tomorrow.
In a statement, US embassy spokesperson, Cynthia Harvey, said: “The US government has received information that terrorist groups are planning to carry out near-term attacks against places where US citizens congregate in South Africa, such as upscale shopping areas and malls in Johannesburg and Cape Town.”
But spokesman for the Department of International Relations and Co-operation’s Clayton Monyela has taken the warning with a pinch of salt.
He tweeted: “The last advisory by @USEmbassySA to US Citizens (in September 2015) warning of an ‘imminent attack’ was a false alarm. I see there’s another 1.”
US Ambassador Patrick Gastard replied to Monyela’s tweet, saying: “The price of freedom is eternal vigilance and through Grace we are all made safe. The only false note is arrogance.”
Monyela replied: “You know my views on these advisories and the panic they cause.”
V&A Waterfront spokesperson Carla White said cops have increased their presence at the popular tourist attraction.
Meanwhile, EWN reports Western Cape Premier Helen Zille met with US diplomats on Saturday.
“The US has strong intelligence and they’ve passed that intelligence onto the South African authorities and I don’t think we should ignore something like this,” she was quoted as saying.
The Department of International Relations and Cooperation referred the Daily Voice to the State Security Agency, who didn’t return calls by last night.
The Muslim Judicial Council told Daily Voice it would be having a meeting this week to discuss the issue before making a statement.
In 2010, the US Embassy warned Americans to be aware of “increased terrorism risks” during the Soccer World Cup.