Fazul's South African passport a fake: official

15th June 2011, Comments 0 comments

The South African passport found on Fazul Abdullah Mohammed, the slain mastermind of the US embassy bombings in east Africa, was forged, a home affairs official said Wednesday.

Fazul, Al-Qaeda's presumed head in east Africa, was killed in a shoot-out in the Somali capital last Tuesday. A South African passport was found on him in the name of Daniel Robinson.

Wanted for blowing up the US embassies in Nairobi and Dar es Salaam in 1998 and Africa's most wanted man with a $5 million bounty, Fazul was born in the Comoros, the Indian Ocean island archipelago.

Home affairs director general Mkuseli Apleni said: "Our investigations have revealed without equivocation that the passport was not an authentic South African passport, but a fake," the Sapa news agency reported.

A Somali source said the passport, issued April 13, 2009, indicated its bearer left South Africa for Tanzania on March 19 and was granted a visa there. The Tanzanian visa was the only one in the passport.

But Apleni said immigration authorities have no record of the document being used to enter or exit the country and that it had not been issued by any South African authority.

South Africa began issuing new, redesigned passports on April 8, 2009 -- five days before the issue date on Fazul's passport.

It came after several foreign governments, including Britain, voiced concern over counterfeit South African passports.

© 2011 AFP

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