15 Year Old Arrested While on Mission to Join ISIS
The girl had booked a flight at Cape Town when the security apparatus identified and blocked her.
This is reportedly the first known detention linked to the military group in the country.
The military said that it was investigating whether ISIS, which has overrun large areas of Syria and Iraq, had a recruitment network in South Africa.
“The family of the young girl has been spoken to and after being debriefed by officials the young girl has been released back into the care of her family,” read a statement from the South African government.
The teenager had tried to take a domestic flight on Sunday to Johannesburg, South Africa’s main international hub, where she had booked a flight to Turkey on Monday and from where she will travel by road to Syria in her mission to join ISIS.
Cyber technology use by terrorists
Thousands of people from more than 80 nations, including Britain, other parts of Europe, China and the United States, are said to have have joined the ranks of ISIS and other militant groups in Syria and Iraq, through Turkey.
The teenager had been stopped at Cape Town airport after evidence was found in her bedroom indicating she had been in contact with ISIS recruiters.
It did not give any information on how the girl may have been recruited but said it was concerned about the use of cyber technology by terrorist groups.
Local media reports said the girl had confided to friends that she planned to join ISIS and relatives had noticed she had become increasingly politicized within the last month.
Pretoria has long been concerned about the radicalization of South Africa’s largely conservative Muslim community and of the country being used as a launching pad for Islamist attacks.
By Musalia Wycliffe