A South African teenager, reportedly recruited by the Islamic State militant group, was removed from a plane bound for Johannesburg on Sunday. Questions remain as to how she was recruited by the organisation.
A 15-year-old girl was removed from her first class seat on a plane leaving from Cape Town for Johannesburg last Sunday afternoon. Reports indicate that authorities had found evidence linking the young woman with the terror group on her social media accounts.
EyeWitness News reported that the South African Security Ministry said that it is attempting to determinethe existence or extent of the group’s network inside the country and if any other minors have been recruited by the Islamic State (ISIS).
The ministry is still trying to determine how the teen was able to book, pay for and plan a trip to meet an ISIS recruiter.
The ministry has reportedly probed all of the teenager’s online activities looking for any evidence of who may have asked her to join the cause. This includes a payment to an unknown source.
The ministry’s Brian Dube said, “We are still investigating and we don’t want to compromise our work by discussing what is happening.”
Dube also said that the complete details of the operation that led to the girl being taken into custody will only be made public when the investigation is complete.
The Department of Home Affairs said adjustments to immigration laws will help in preventing minors from joining the militant group. The department’s Mayihlome Tshwete said the new regulations, which will into effect from 1 June, will require a verified guardian’s consent for a child to be able to travel across South African borders.