South Africa watching suspects after U.S. alert, sees no imminent threat

Reuters News
Posted: Sep 09, 2015 11:32 AM

JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) - The South African government is monitoring a number of people linked to a reported threat to U.S. interests but was satisfied that no one faced any imminent danger, the security minister said on Wednesday.

The U.S. Embassy warned its citizens on Tuesday of a possible attack by militants, a rare security alert in a stable democracy seldom associated with Islamist militancy.

State Security Minister David Mahlobo told Talk Radio 702 on Wednesday the U.S. Embassy had shared information linked to the warning with his officials.

"This is not a new information, the information has been shared over the past few days, the information has been acted upon," he said.

"In terms of our own threat analysis, we had to do a threat analysis, who is the source and what is happening, and came to the conclusion that there is no immediate danger."

In Washington, a State Department official said the security message was to inform U.S. citizens that militants may be targeting U.S. interests in South Africa, including U.S. government facilities and businesses.

"There is no additional information as to timing or potential targeting," the official said. "U.S. citizens should be vigilant and take appropriate steps to enhance their personal security."

The embassy and consulates in Johannesburg, Durban and Cape Town closed for several days in 2009 after what U.S. officials described as a specific threat to diplomatic missions in South Africa.

(Reporting by Peroshni Govender in Johannesburg and Lesley Wroughton in Washington; Editing by James Macharia and Angus MacSwan)