A 15 Year-old Cape Town girl was pulled off a plane on Sunday afternoon after admitting she had intended to join a terrorist group, State Security Minister David Mahlobo said on Monday.
The girl, whose identity cannot be revealed for protection reasons, was removed from a British Airways flight on Sunday afternoon at Cape Town International Airport. She was reportedly found sitting alone in business class heading on her way to Saudi Arabia.
In an interview with State Security Minister, he confirmed she had intended to flee the country. "We can confirm that she was planning to leave the country with the intention of joining ISIS and had been actively engaged with [ISIS on} social media networks."
April 8 th, 2015
The State Security department is investigating how the teenager was able to get the money for airfare and how she may have been recruited.
"An investigation is under way as to how far this network goes [and] whether there is a cell in the country. We cannot allow South Africa to be used as recruitment space," said Minister of State Security David Mahlobo.
Her parents reported to authorities after she disappeared from her Cape Town home on Sunday morning. Investigators found documents in her room suggesting the group had recruited her.
Online youth recruitment
ISIS is recruiting young female teenagers from around the world through an online campaign to join their team in Syria and Iraq. Teenagers in countries such as the United Kingdom and Australia have left their homes to join the ranks of Islamic State and other militant groups in Syria and Iraq over the past few months. This is the first case of a South African teenager for suspected of trying to join the Islamic State group, said State Security spokesperson Brian Dube. Female recruiters use social media such as Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. According to reports, the girl actively engaged on social media networks with people who sparked her interest to join ISIS.
She was returned safely to her parents after she was taken off the British Airways flight.
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