Britain has warned of possible attacks by the Islamic State (IS) on foreigners in South Africa, following the kidnap of two British nationals in a small town there.
Britain’s Foreign Office (FCO) disclosed on its website that the main threat was from ISIS.
In an email to Reuters, the FCO said: “We have updated our travel advice to include this recent incident”, referring to the kidnapping.
“Our travel advice already states that terrorists are likely to try to carry out attacks in South Africa. This remains our assessment.”
A spokesman for the Hawks, Lloyd Ramovha, said two suspects had been arrested in connection with the kidnap of the British couple.
Police have not identified the couple, who lives in Cape Town.
They were kidnapped in the small town of Vryheid in the eastern KwaZulu-Natal province, Ramovha said. Police were still investigating why they had travelled there.
“The couple are still missing at this stage. No ransom has been demanded. Our investigation so far has not revealed any links to terrorists, let alone ISIL,” Ramovha said, using an acronym for Islamic State.
“Besides that, South Africa has measures to counter terrorist threats. We are more than ready to deal with such.”
“The car the couple was driving in was found yesterday (Wednesday), and is now undergoing forensic tests,” he said.
The couple, a 74-year-old man who moved from Britain to South Africa in the 1970s and his South African-born wife, 63, both have British and South African nationalities.
Jasmine Opperman, director of Southern Africa Operations at the Terrorism, Research and Analysis Consortium think tank, said the British alert was “alarmist”.
“South Africa’s vulnerability for attack is there, but are there solid indications of attacks now as we sit here? There are none,” she said in an interview with eNCA television.