New terrorism-related charges for 'Woolies bombers linked to Isis'

More criminal charges have been added to men suspected to have bombed Woolies stores last year.
More criminal charges have been added to men suspected to have bombed Woolies stores last year.
Image: Robert Tshabalala

Additional terrorism-related charges have been added to the case against the 12 men accused of orchestrating the bloody Verulam mosque attack and a wave of alleged Isis-inspired firebomb attacks.

Farhad Hoomer along with Ahmed Haffejee‚ Goolam Haffejee‚ Thabit Mwenda‚ Mohamad Akbar‚ Seiph Mohamed‚ Amani Mayani‚ Abubakar Ali‚ Abbas Jooma‚ Mahammed Sobruin‚ Ndikumana Shabani and Iddy Omari appeared in the Verulam Magastrate's Court on Friday where charges relating to the Protection of Constitutional Democracy Against Terrorist and Related Activities Act were added.

These are linked to firebomb incidents at Woolworths stores and at last year's Durban July.

The men also face various charges‚ including for murder‚ attempted murder‚ arson and extortion. They were arrested in a coordinated Hawks raid on October 5.

The men stand accused of being aligned to terror group Islamic State‚ with Hoomer allegedly orchestrating the fatal Verulam mosque attack in May‚ as well as a series of firebomb attacks at retail outlets in the months that followed.

Specialist prosecutor advocate Adele Barnard told the court that the state was also planning on lodging an application to have the case remanded for six months for further investigation.

Advocate Jimmy Howse‚ who represents Hoomer‚ was not pleased by the state's intention to postpone the case further.

"The clock is ticking from today for the state to finalise this matter... I am putting the state on notice (the application) will be opposed‚" said Howse.

Hoomer is out on R200‚000 bail‚ Haffejee was released after paying R150‚000 while Akbar‚ Ali‚ Jooma‚ Sobruin‚ Shabani and Omari had bail set between R3‚000 and R5,000.

The matter will be back in court on April 15.

Meanwhile‚ the mother of Shaheed Abbas Essop stood outside the court holding up photos of the bloody scene where her son was killed.

Abbas was one of the casualties at that Imam Hussain Mosque in May when three knife-wielding men stormed the mosque in Ottawa‚ Verulam‚ after midday prayers – targeting the imam and two others.

Abbas‚ a mechanic at the workshop across the road from the mosque‚ had charged into the building after the men began attacking worshippers. When Abbas intervened‚ the attackers duct-taped his mouth and slit his throat. He died in hospital.

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