The United States Diplomatic Mission to South Africa has issued a warning to Americans currently in South Africa of a possible attack by “extremists” in that country. This is a rare security alert in a country with a stable democracy, not normally associated with Islamist militancy of any kind.
Update: September 9 – According to Bloomberg, South Africa’s Minister of State Security, David Mahlobo, said today that they have done an assessment and “come to a conclusion that there’s no immediate danger” to Americans in South Africa.
“What we’ll never do is to relax, because the Americans are concerned. We take their concern very seriously.”
“There’s no need to panic. We are not overly concerned. There’s no immediate threat that we are actually facing.”
They say a terror attack could be made against U.S. government facilities of interest in South Africa.
— ANN7 (@ANN7tv) September 8, 2015
On the U.S. Diplomatic Mission’s website, they state they have no definitive information of any kind on a specific target or possible timing of an attack, but they warn U.S. citizens to maintain their vigilance and to review their personal security plans while in the country.
Headed “Terrorist Threat to U.S. Interests in South Africa,” the statement on their website reads as follows.
“The U.S. Diplomatic Mission to South Africa has received information that extremists may be targeting U.S. interests in South Africa, to possibly include U.S. Government facilities and other facilities identifiable with U.S. business interests. There is no additional information as to timing or potential targeting.
Review your personal security plans; remain aware and vigilant of your surroundings, including local events, monitor local news stations for updates and follow instructions from local authorities. Be vigilant and take appropriate steps to enhance your personal security.”
The statement then goes on to give various links, giving more information about what to do in case of an emergency, as well as the addresses and contact information of the U.S. Embassy to the Republic of South Africa and various U.S. consulates throughout the country.
W/House Press Secretary refers q’s re Terror Alert in South Africa to US State Dept, says he’s got nothing to share at this stage #sabcnews
— Sherwin Bryce-Pease (@sherwiebp) September 8, 2015
As reported by Eyewitness News, U.S. citizens in South Africa are also advised by the U.S. Diplomatic Mission to monitor local news services and to follow instructions given by local authorities.
Eyewitness News further went on to say that a U.S. embassy spokesperson was unavailable to be interviewed about the terror alert in South Africa. However, the following message on Twitter links to a brief interview with a State Department spokesman about the terror alert.
— Simon Marks (@SimonMarksFSN) September 8, 2015
[Image: U.S. Flag CC BY-NC-ND 2.0 by The_Parasite]