Published on Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Warning of kidnap threat in South Africa after two Britons abducted

Visitors to South Africa are being warned of an increased threat of kidnap throughout the country following the seizure of two British passport holders earlier this month.

In an update to its travel advice, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office said British nationals are at risk because 'they can be perceived as being wealthier than locals and may be at particular risk of kidnap for financial gain'.

No details on the latest kidnappings have been released, but the FCO said the pair had dual British and South African citizenship.

It said the main threat was from extremists linked to Daesh (formerly reffered to as ISIL).

"Attacks could be indiscriminate, including in places visited by foreigners such as shopping areas in major cities," said the FCO.
"News reports suggest that a number of South African nationals have travelled to Syria, Iraq and Libya. They are likely to pose a security threat on their return.

"There's also a threat from individuals who may have been inspired by terrorist groups, including Daesh, to carry out so called 'lone actor' attacks targeting public places including where foreigners may gather.

"South African authorities have successfully disrupted several planned attacks and made a number of arrests related to terrorism offences including alleged plots to attack Jewish targets and western diplomatic missions. South African authorities have also been effective against right-wing extremists.

"There's a heightened threat of terrorist attack globally against UK interests and British nationals, from groups or individuals motivated by the conflict in Iraq and Syria. You should be vigilant at this time."

Tourists in the popular South African city of Cape Town face the more obvious threat of a water shortage at the moment due to a long dry period in the region.

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