South African Twins Plead Guilty to Planning Terror Attacks on Jewish Targets
A pair of South African twins pleaded guilty on Monday to numerous terror charges, including a plot to attack Jewish targets in the country, according to local media.
Brandon-Lee and Tony-Lee Thulsie, who have long claimed to be innocent, handed in two separate guilty pleas to the Johannesburg High Court, the South African outlet The Citizen reported.
Tony-Lee plead guilty to conspiring with a man known only as “Abu Harb” to “commit the crime of terrorism by agreeing to engage in terrorist activity in South Africa.”
This activity would have included attacks on Jewish targets, as well as against Shia Muslims and others.
“The purpose of the conspiracy was to intimidate the Shia and Jewish communities in South Africa and foreigners at South African airports and to cause or spread feelings of terror, fear or panic in the civilian population of South Africa and in particular the sections of the civilian population so targeted,” the plea said.
Brandon-Lee also pleaded guilty to possessing an ebook that contained terrorist information, The 28-year-old twins both admitted attempting to leave the country in order to join the Islamic State terror group in Syria.
Tony-Lee faces an 11-year prison sentence, and his brother an 8-year term.
According to South Africa’s Daily Maverick, the proceedings bring an end to a six-year legal ordeal, during which the twins were held in detention throughout.
The pleas are the first under a 2004 anti-terrorism law for involvement in Islamist terrorism. Other convictions have been of individuals connected with the political far-right.
Besides Jewish targets, the prosecution held that the twins planned attacks on diplomatic targets, including diplomats from the US, the UK, Russia, and France.