By Firoz Osman

(source: Th Star – January 21, 2010 Edition 1)

The advent of 2010 heralds for South Africa the Soccer World Cup, and the associated anxieties that the world’s greatest sports event must proceed without incident.  The SA Football Association (SAFA) has convincingly dispatched the pessimists and cynics who questioned South Africa’s capabilities of hosting the World Cup, but other detractors have emerged from the woodwork.

Self-proclaimed “terror and security experts”, among them one Hussein Solomon, warned, citing faceless and dubious “intelligence” sources, that Al-Qaeda, harboured by the SA Muslim community, “of a terror plot targeting US interests in South Africa.” (Togo terror: taste of more to come? 14.01.2010).

The current Inquiry into the British role in the invasion of Iraq should provide an explicit lesson for the likes of Hussein Solomon as to the nefarious workings of “intelligence” agencies in pursuing diabolical agendas with heinous motives. What has emerged thus far reveals that then British PM Tony Blair used fabricated evidence to support the USA in invading Iraq, an unjustified act of war in violation of International Law. This included inter alia; that Saddam Hussein cooperated with Al-Qaeda and was responsible for 9/11; that Iraq sought uranium from Niger; tried to import aluminium tubes for gas centrifuges; and had 10,000 litres of anthrax, a vial that Colin Powell menacingly twirled between his fingers at the UN. Intelligence also produced dodgy dossiers that Iraq was capable of launching weapons of mass destruction (WMD) within 45 minutes; that two trailers in satellite40were mobile biological laboratories; that it had vast stocks of chemical and biological weapons able to kill the whole world; and that war with Iraq would be a cakewalk! Solomon has been, for years, engaged in disseminating such radioactive trash, warning SA of imminent attacks by “Muslim terrorists”, without providing any reliable evidence to back up this outrageous claim. His crusade took him to Counter Terrorism conference in Herzlia, Israel, in 2007, where he concocted his noxious anti-Muslim defamation with renowned Islamophobes such as Steven Emerson, Daniel Pipes and Benjamin Netanyahu. During his presentation Solomon’s claimed that SA institutions were psychologically preparing local Muslims for terrorism; that military training is occurring at various South African Muslim high schools; and that Muslims were a potential threat to the 2010 World Cup. The content of Solomon’s presentation vilified the entire Muslim community of South Africa, and is one of the most rabid forms of 42ever encountered. That the Counter-Terror conference hosts and fellow speakers allowed such baseless allegations to masquerade as an academic presentation reflects the deep-seated anti-Islamic sentiments of this gathering. Nowhere in his 25 minute presentation on “radical” Islam in South Africa, did Solomon provide a shred of evidence to substantiate his distortions and wild allegations. What is astonishing is the attack on the Togo national soccer team by the Front for the Liberation of the Enclave of Cabinda (Flec) has absolutely no Muslim element, yet Solomon used this incident as a platform to vent his Islamophobic sentiments. Flec’s objective is to achieve independence for the disputed oil-rich region of Cabinda, and has been in a guerrilla war since 2000. How on earth does Solomon’s link the volatile situation in Angola, 2,500 kilometres away, to a phantom “Muslim terrorist” threat to the 2010 soccer world cup in South Africa, boggles the mind. Is it a ploy to ratchet up the climate of 42in SA? And is the media complicit in his project to purvey a rabid form of 42by publishing such baseless allegations? The media has often been co-opted to sensationalize dubious reports of fictitious plots to keep “terrorism” in people’s minds.    The covert action of these faceless agents is to “shape” intelligence to further the nefarious objectives of their handlers, or governments. The propagation of disinformation through the media and to foreign governments is a primary function of these agencies. By quoting uncorroborated media reports as a source, academics such as Hussein reconstruct speculation, innuendo and myths into facts, perpetuating a vicious cycle that tarnishes the integrity of the Muslim community. To the chagrin of Western countries, South Africa has not become a victim of bombings because it has wisely dissociated itself from the American-led and supported invasion and occupation of foreign lands. It has also resisted the enticement and pressure to open an American military base on its territory. Whilst real security threats to South Africa can exist, our reaction should be based on solid evidence not influenced by the domestic politics, foreign policy or fictional plots of other countries. It has become a weapon for the western countries to scream “terror!” in order to coerce other sovereign nations to submit to its will.   Fictitious reports by unsavoury and paid indigenous agents have resulted in fallacious conclusions with dire consequences for the citizens of Iraq, Palestine, Afghanistan, Pakistan and Somalia.  Conspiring with unsavoury “experts” such as Barry Rubin, Solomon’s has taunted and undermined the credibility and emphatic assurances of safety given by Local Organising Committee CEO Danny Jordaan, the Intelligence and the SA security establishment.  It is incumbent that Solomon provides indisputable evidence to the appropriate authorities to substantiate his incriminating allegations.