Aliens with al Qaeda links nabbed

NAMIBIA and Botswana have arrested and deported several members of the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood, which has links with the al Qaeda movement, in a highly sensitive and secret operation.

The Namibian is in possession of a highly confidential document
forwarded to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs by the country's High
Commissioner to Botswana, Hadino Hishongwa, in which he revealed
information about alleged infiltration of the Egyptian Muslim
Brotherhood into the region.

The extent of the infiltration could not be verified with the Ministry
of Foreign Affairs or with High Commissioner Hishongwa, as neither
replied to a list of questions submitted two weeks ago.

An official in Foreign Affairs said a file with the questions had been
forwarded to acting Permanent Secretary Hinyangerwa Asheeke, who has
yet to reply.

Hishongwa wrote to the Ministry towards the end of September after he
was briefed by a representative of the Botswana Intelligence
Organisation (BIO), a part of the Botswana Police Service, about
infiltration by mainly Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood elements into the
southern African region, including Namibia.

It is believed that the men carried visas stating that they are
directors of non-existent companies and pretended to make a living from
selling paintings, carpets and mirrors on the streets or door-to-door.

They mainly stayed in Windhoek, Rundu, Oshakati and Gobabis.

However, this is largely a cover-up as they have virtually unlimited
access to money via Visa cards which they use, inter alia to buy
vehicles. These people are also said to be proficient in forging credit
cards, ID cards and cellphone credit, Hishongwa warned.

His alert was also forwarded to the Office of the President, Prime
Minister, Ministry of Home Affairs and the Ministry of Defence.

He said the Namibian mission in Botswana was strongly advised to be on
high alert before issuing visas to Egyptians and other nationals from
North Africa and the Middle East.

It is believed that Botswana has already detained over 25 Egyptians as
illegal immigrants in Gaborone after a tip-off from their South African

About 20 cars with Botswana and SA registration numbers were parked at one of the premises where the suspects were arrested.

For their part, South Africa's Scorpion special investigative unit have
arrested over 50 illegal Egyptian immigrants after they entered the
country by ship from Pakistan and bribed corrupt police and customs

Although the SA authorities subsequently withdrew their visas, some
had already scattered to Botswana, Namibia, Angola, Zambia, Zimbabwe,
Mozambique, Lesotho ad Swaziland, Hishongwa wrote.

It is believed that while being interrogated, the majority of the
suspects confirmed their allegiance to the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood,
which has links to al Qaeda.

According to Hishongwa's informant in the Botswana Intelligence
Service, eight of those who made it out of South Africa had been
arrested in Namibia by the end of September.

At that stage there were already around 70 members of the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood in Namibia.

Some of those in detention in Botswana have also provided details of their relatives in Namibia to that country's intelligence.

The Muslim Brotherhood, Egypt's largest opposition group, is formally
banned but fielded independent candidates in 2005 elections, winning a
fifth of the seats in parliament.

In the 2005 parliamentary elections, the Brotherhood's candidates, who
can only stand as independents, won 88 seats (20 per cent of the total)
to form the largest opposition bloc, despite many violations of the
electoral process, including the arrest of hundreds of Brotherhood


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