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Fake explosive in Vereeniging mosque puts CSO on alert

  • CSO
What was believed to be an explosive device was found at a mosque in Roshnee, Vereeniging, on Monday evening. It has been confirmed the device was fake and the suspect responsible is to appear in court on charges of carrying out a hoax.
by JORDAN MOSHE | Aug 02, 2018

“This incident is certainly concerning in light of what happen in Durban and Cape Town,” says Jevon Greenblatt, the Director of Operations at the Community Security Organisation (CSO). “While it wasn’t a live bomb, the suspect might have been trying to scare people, or test the system to see the response he’d get.”

He continues: “While we have no information about connections, if any, between all these incidents, we continue to monitor the situation closely. If mosques and malls can be targeted, so can shuls and other Jewish installations.”

It is understood that community members were praying at the Masjid Taqwa mosque. They noticed a man entering the building at about 18:30 and he left, leaving a bag behind. The suspect was arrested on Tuesday when he returned to collect his bag. The 36-year-old has yet to explain why he was at the mosque, or to account for leaving the bag.

The Roshnee neighbourhood watch subsequently handed the bag over to the security office, where the suspected explosive device was discovered. According to Eyewitness News, despite messages appearing on social media saying there was a bomb, the police’s Fikile Funda says no explosives were found.

Says Funda: “We called in our bomb-disposal unit, and they confirmed it was not a bomb. It was a flask wrapped in Sellotape, and it contained Vaseline and an unidentified substance. It is not something that we can say constituted a bomb.” The bag was also found to contain anti-ISIS reading material.

The CSO says it has become popular worldwide to minimise suspected terror incidents by treating them as crimes. But, despite the move to downplay such incidents, it continues to take such matters seriously, and treat them as a threat, doing whatever is necessary to protect the community.

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