On 12 June, the British and American soccer teams are scheduled to face off in South Africa as part of what is surely one of the world’s largest sporting events, the World Cup.
Al Qaeda has decided to interject itself into the mix as well, threatening to attack that game, as has been widely reported in British media:
These are surely threats that should be taken seriously.
First of all, the wing of Al Qaeda which made the threat, Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AGIM), has a very violent history and is one of the most active wings of the terrorist organization. It doesn’t get much coverage in the USA, but it is a serious problem in Africa.
Secondly, Islam has been on the rise in South Africa for some years now, particularly Salafi Islam, thanks to the Saudis. This is of course the sect of Sunni Islam which gave birth to Al Qaeda in the first place. Similar to Mumbai, any Al Qaeda attackers can probably depend upon a local support structure for intelligence, reconnaissance and logistics.
Third, South Africa is a country that has been wracked by a great deal of violence in the past decade. Crime, particularly murder, is a huge problem there and the authorities already have their hands full.
Here’s hoping that the South Africans bring in outside help for security at this event. Specific threats from Jihadists are not to be taken lightly. They lose their credibility if they do not follow through.