The United Kingdom and Australia have warned of imminent attacks in South Africa days after the United States did the same.
Nevertheless, South African officials have downplayed the warnings and reassured tourists it could keep the country safe against attacks. The country’s State Security Minister David Mahlobo said that there is no immediate danger posed by the alert.
In its warning, the UK specifically pointed out a high threat of attacks against foreigners in shopping areas in Johannesburg and Cape Town.
There is considered to be a heightened threat of terrorist attack globally against UK interests and British nationals ... You should be vigilant at this time.
“There is considered to be a heightened threat of terrorist attack globally against UK interests and British nationals … You should be vigilant at this time,” a statement by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) said.
The US also said that terrorist groups are planning to carry out near-term attacks against places where its citizens congregate in South Africa.
Africa’s most developed country has a significant expatriate and tourist population. The country boasts of a number of malls.
Britain’s FCO said that it is likely the attacks will be carried out by groups affiliated to Islamist militants in Iraq and Syria.
There has been a significant increase in terror attacks in Africa.
In 2013, a shopping complex in Kenya was under siege from Somali Islamist group Al Shabaab. The insurgents killed at least 67 people.
Furthermore, since 2015, there have been a series of strikes on hotels used by foreigners in West and Northern Africa.
These warnings come days after the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant’s public call for its adherents to carry out terrorist attacks globally during the holy month of Ramadan.