Hawks make more arrests in Crusaders ‘terror plot’

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The Hawks have arrested three more suspects wanted in connection with an alleged terror plot as part of the National Christian Resistance Movement (NCRM), also known as the ‘Crusaders’.

Among those arrested was Riana Heymans, the Hawks said in a statement, after she had gone on the run when leader of the group, Harry Knoesen was taken into custody on Thursday.

Heymans and two other alleged accomplices were arrested on Friday in Kliprivier, Johannesburg by an integrated team of Crime Intelligence operatives and Hawks members, spokesperson Brigadier Hangwani Mulaudzi said in a statement.

“Various firearms and ammunition, documents and other items were confiscated by the Criminal Record Centre (CRC) for further probing,” Mulaudzi said.

This follows the arrest of the self-professed leader of the “movement” Harry Knoesen, on Thursday by the Hawks at his Mpumalanga home on terrorism-related charges.

Knoesen, 60, is a former national defence force member and retired pastor.

READ: Hawks arrest ‘Crusaders terrorist movement’ leader, discover suspected explosives factory

The Hawks had been gathering intelligence on the NCRM for two years, according to Mulaudzi.

“The arrest follows a two-year extensive intelligence-led investigation into the alleged terrorist plot apparently co-ordinated by the group to target national key points, shopping malls and informal settlements,” Mulaudzi said in a statement on Friday.

The three accused are expected to join Knoesen in the Middelburg Magistrate’s Court on Monday on charges of contravening the Protection of Constitutional Democracy against Terrorism and Related Activities (POCDATARA) Act as well harbouring a wanted suspect in terms of the same Act.

Knoesen had appeared in court on Friday.





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