‘No terrorist threat yet’
JOHANNESBURG – The World Cup faces no terror threat at the moment, according to South Africa’s police minister, who dismissed speculation less than two weeks before the tournament opens about plots by groups ranging from al-Qaeda to homegrown white militants.
Police Minister Nathi Mthethwa said yesterday that if a threat was to emerge, his forces would be ready. He said preparations since 2004, when South Africa won the bid to be the first African country to host football’s premier event, had included working closely with security and intelligence agents from the United States, Britain and the 29 other countries sending teams to South Africa for the month-long tournament that begins on June 11.
Mthethwa dismissed concerns that while South African security forces were prepared to respond, its intelligence agencies would be stretched to prevent an attack.
“I don’t think that South African intelligence is weak,” said Mthethwa, adding that if so, it would have been pointed out by the foreign governments with whom it had been working to prepare for the World Cup. (AP)