PRETORIA, South Africa, Sept. 8 (UPI) — The U.S. embassy in South Africa on Tuesday issued a warning that extremists may be planning attacks against U.S. interests in the country.
“The U.S. Diplomatic Mission to South Africa has received information that extremists may be targeting U.S. interests in South Africa, to possibly include U.S. Government facilities and other facilities identifiable with U.S. business interests,”the statement read, adding there was “no additional information as to timing or potential targeting.”
A similar warning came on Sept. 4, when the embassy advised U.S. citizens to be vigilant amid the approaching 14-year anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks.
“While there are threats against U.S. citizens everywhere,” the statement read, “there are groups in the region who are intent on harming U.S. citizens and U.S. interests.”
In both statements the embassy urged citizens to monitor local news, follow instructions of local authorities and to “take appropriate steps to enhance your personal security.”
The U.S. State Department says anti-U.S. violence is uncommon in South Africa, “but the Department of State remains concerned about the continued worldwide threat of terrorist attacks, demonstrations, and other violent actions against U.S. citizens and interests overseas.”
Multiple Islamic extremist groups operate in Africa, including al-Qaida affiliated al-Shabab in Somalia and al-Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb, which has conducted attacks in Algeria and Mali.
Islamic State-affiliated groups operate in Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula and in Libya, where IS militants are reported to have killed at least eight soldiers with the interim government Tuesday.
Terrorist group Boko Haram, which pledged allegiance to IS earlier this year, has since 2009 waged a campaign of terror in Nigeria and neighboring countries such as Cameroon and Niger.
Tuesday’s warning comes the same day Kenyan police arrested three people suspected of attempting to bring an explosive device into a Nairobi shopping mall — and nearly three years after Ambassador Chris Stevens was killed on the 11th anniversary of 9/11 during an assault by Islamic militants against the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya.