Hawks thwart plan to attack Jewish institutions

  • Thulsie facebook
Twin brothers Brandon-Lee and Tony-Lee Thulsie, 23, were arrested last Saturday at their Newclare home in Johannesburg for planning to blow up a US diplomatic mission and Jewish institutions in South Africa. The police’s Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation (Hawks) is aware of the institutions involved but would not give further details at this stage.
by ANT KATZ | Jul 14, 2016

Targeting SA Jewry

The brothers, converts to Islam in 2015, were ISIS-inspired and had tried last year to fly from South Africa with another pair of siblings - the Patel brother and sister of Azaadville on the West Rand - to join the group in Syria.

The Thulsie twins were charged with three counts related to terrorism and appeared on Monday in the Johannesburg Magistrate’s Court where they were remanded until next Tuesday, July 19, when they are expected to apply for a bail hearing.

see say tall correctedIbrahim and Fatima Patel, 20 and 24 respectively, whom police believe had been recruited by the Thulsie twins, appeared on a lesser firearms charge in another Johannesburg court on Monday.

RIGHT: JR Online is running an awareness campaign with CSO based on the US Dept of Homeland Affairs' slogan

Media speculation that the Patels were found with explosives “relating to the alleged terror plot” and another that the two cases would be joined, were denied by the police on Tuesday. Hawks spokesman Brigadier Hangwani Mulaudzi told Jewish Report that no link between the bomb-plot and the Patels had emerged at this stage.

The provisional charge sheet alleged that the Thulsies planned, between last October and this month, to “cause explosions at a Mission of the US and Jewish institutions” in South Africa. This, according to the charge sheet, “was intended to cause or spread feelings of terror, fear or panic in the civilian population of SA and, in particular, the US and Jewish sector thereof”.

The twins and their alleged recruits, the Patel siblings, had tried to fly to Syria to join ISIS in April last year but were stopped after the Hawks, a specialised crime-fighting unit, informed the airline on which they intended to travel. They are subsequently alleged to have “unlawfully and intentionally conspired and attempted to perform acts” that would assist the Islamic State and made themselves available to the terrorist group in order to conduct terrorist activity.


A number of new facts have emerged from information Jewish Report received from the SA Police Service, the Hawks, the National Prosecuting Authority, Jewish security organisations and several other parties who are close to the investigation but not able to speak for their employers and hence cannot be named.

The story has made headlines around the world this week, even the lead story in some publications. The facts are startling enough. New information is that the Hawks stumbled upon the twins' plot while at their home to execute an arrest warrant (Jewish Report has yet to establish the nature of the search warrant); Hawks spokesman Brigadier Mulaudzi told Jewish Report on Tuesday that there was nothing to suggest at this stage that the Patel siblings were in any way involved in the activities of the Thulsies. It has also emerged that one of the Thulsie brothers worked for Discovery and group CE Adrian Gore sent out a company-wide notice to staff on Tuesday (see JR Online).

Some of the latest information uncovered by Jewish Report includes (watch our website for daily updates):

  • The Patels have a bail hearing on Monday and the Thulsie twins on Tuesday;
  • The police had been watching the ISIS supporters, but did not expect to arrest anyone on Saturday. Luck led to their uncovering a plot they did not know existed before then;
  • The link between the Thulsies and the Patels is that the four had tried to leave South Africa to join ISIS in Syria together last year - a plan that was thwarted by the Hawks. But the Hawks never stopped watching them;
  • The Hawks and the NPA have both stated that they are not aware of any contact between the twins and the Patels since then;
  • Last Saturday the Hawks were executing a search warrant at the Thulsie home;
  • Once the police were inside, they found a lot more than they bargained for - leading them to first arrest the twins and later in the day the Patels;
  • The twins had a list of targets which included the US Embassy in Pretoria and “certain” Jewish institutions, the names of which the police have - but are not releasing at this stage;
  • Brandon-Lee and Toni-Lee Thulsie are also known as Yaqeen and Salahuddin ibn Hernani respectively since their conversion to Islam;
  • While one police spokesman said that there was no imminent threat as the twins were not yet ready to carry out their, plans, another told Jewish Report Online that police who raided the home on Saturday found a bomb in the process of being assembled. Jewish Report has not yet been able to verify this; and
  • One Thulsie who worked at Discovery, had not been at work for several weeks and was suspended on Tuesday.

The Community Security Organisation (CSO) Gauteng, told Jewish Report that the Jewish community needs to be more vigilant with regard to their own security and the security of their installations. CSO had, in fact, been preparing the community for the reality of terror in South Africa for some time.

CSO continues to work closely with the SA Police and security services to ensure the safety and security of the Jewish community, but this needs to be a community effort and everyone must play their part, they say.

To assist both Jewish and national security organisations, Jewish Report Online will be running an awareness campaign using the US Department of Homeland Affairs’ slogan: “See something, say something” together with the CSO - see www.sajr.co.za

The Thulsie brothers were wearing hoodies when they appeared in court on Monday. Photographers were not allowed to take pictures of them. The brothers are believed to have grown substantial beards when seen against their clean-shaven appearance in their pictures on Facebook.

Related reads on JR Online


1 Comment

  1. 1 nat cheiman 14 Jul
    A good start will be to suspend davening with muslims in shul


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