Top al-Qaeda member in contact with South Africa numbers – Spy Cable

Secret documents, leaked from numerous intelligence agencies, offer rare insights into the interactions between spies. (Aljazeera images)



A leaked spy cable shows that a Somali cellphone number used by an associate of a senior al-Shabaab member and al-Qaeda associate was in contact with South African cellphone numbers for three months in 2009.

This has emerged from a leaked spy cable from Britain’s MI6 dated 11 November 2009, in which subscriber details were requested for the South African cellphone numbers.

Al Jazeera obtained hundreds of leaked secret intelligence documents from spy agencies around the world.

The cable reads as follows: “Intercept shows that Somali mobilewas in contact with South African mobilesduring the period of 1 March to 1 June 2009.

“Somali mobile is used by , an associate of who is involved in the running of an Al-Qa’ida linked camp in Somalia. is a senior al-Shabaab member and Al-Qa’ida associate.formally acted as a bodyguard for (now deceased) AQ operative in East Africa . He was also actively involved in the running of the insurgency in Mogadishu in 2007-8 prior to the Ethiopian troop withdrawal.

“We would be grateful for subscriber details, traces and 30 days call records analysis on South African numbers .”

Extremist activity in Durban

Another cable, dated the same day, states that an individual based in Durban claimed to have knowledge of extremist activity.

He contacted British authorities via an e-mail address to inform them that a radical Sheikh was radicalising youths in the Durban area. A number of youths were believed to have travelled to Pakistan, and others were undergoing pilot training in Europe, according to the source.

The South African government recently proclaimed in the Government Gazette that 11 terror suspects with links to Islamic State and al-Qaeda may consider using South Africa as a base. The group are on a global terror watch list.

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