World Cup terror reports unfounded: S.Africa police minister

31st May 2010, Comments 0 comments

South Africa's minister of police on Monday said reports of possible terror attacks during next month's World Cup were unfounded.

"There has been several reports about plans by certain groups to destabilise the World Cup games. Such reports are unfounded," Nathi Mthethwa said.

"Our intelligence services are working with global security agencies to detect any security threat on the World Cup. But it would be folly for any country to claim that it is immune to terror attacks," said Mthethwa.

"Every precaution has been taken against international and local terror threats during the 2010 FIFA World Cup."

On Sunday, intelligence officials dismissed a media report warning that South Africa faced a high risk of a World Cup terror attack.

A local newspaper citing a briefing to the US Congress counter-terrorism caucus last week by the NEFA Foundation, a group set up in the wake of the 9/11 attacks on the United States to track international terrorism, reported that simultaneous and random attacks were being planned during the tournament.

Mthethwa said the country's security plan had been welcomed by all the countries participating in the World Cup, including Interpol member states.

The global policing agency has established an office in South Africa to work with locally authorities during the month-long event.

According to Mthethwa, countries competing in the event had sent their own specially trained police officers to support the local authorities.

He revealed a foiled attempt by a group of British hooligans who are officially barred from attending the tournament, who tried to enter South Africa via Dubai last month.

"The hooligans are not welcome and they know that those who may try to sneak in will be delt with," said Mthethwa.

"We are working closely with countries where hooliganism in prevalent, particularly Britain," he added.

© 2010 AFP

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