Johannesburg – A 15-year-old Cape Town girl who ran away from home to join the Islamic State was taken off a flight about to leave the city, State Security Minister David Mahlobo said on Monday.
Her relatives contacted authorities after she disappeared from her parent’s home on Sunday morning.
“The girl over the past period has been actually using technology, the social platforms, interacting with strange people and reading some material that suggested that she is actually getting an interest to join the terror group called ISIS,” Mahlobo told broadcaster eNCA.
According to Crime Line’s Yusuf Abramjee, one of the people the family approached for help, her ticket was for Saudi Arabia. He said documents were found in her room suggesting the group had recruited her.
Masutha said the girl was returned safely to her parents after she was taken off the British Airways flight.
How the girl was able to get money for the airfare was being investigated, Mahlobo said.
“But we are just doing a lot… in terms of investigation to see how did she get recruited so that she could leave the country, how the funding in terms of the airfare was being arranged, so that we can be able to get to the bottom of this.”
He said there would be a thorough debriefing so as to “understand the psyche of the child”.