15-Year-Old South African Girl Arrested, Allegedly En Route to Join ISIS

AP Photo/Nasser Nasser
AP Photo/Nasser Nasser

A 15 year-old South African girl believed to be en route to join ISIS has been found and taken off the British Airways plane on which she planned to travel.

The girl left her parents’ home on April 5, and according to BBC News, her parents are “very happy” with her return. Social workers plan to help her overcome the “damage” caused by the ISIS propaganda that swayed her to begin with.

South Africa’s State Security Minister David Mahlobo explained, “The girl over the past period has actually been using technology, the social platforms, interacting with strange people and reading some material that suggested that she is actually getting an interest to join the terror group.”

While “more than 20,000 people from more than 100 countries” are believed to have gone to Syria and Iraq to join ISIS, news of someone from South Africa doing so is very rare.

On February 22, South Africa’s Daily Maverick newspaper carried news of what is thought to be the first South African to fight for ISIS. He is allegedly an 18-year-old from Johannesburg who goes by two names: Abu Hurayra al-Afriki and Mohamed Atta.

Abu Hurayra al-Afriki translates to “The African Father of Kittens,” while Mohamed Atta was a highjacker in the 9/11 attacks in New York City.

Ironically, in an interview with the Daily Maverick, Abu Hurayra talked about how best to arm women who joined ISIS. He said, “Handguns are the best to get for the sisters, so they do not appear armed and they can fire at the enemy from within their cloaks.” He said women can also be armed with rifles or shotguns, but those are more easily taken away, “especially if the attackers are two and the victim is alone.”

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