Crusaders terror plot suspects

Photo: @ali_naka / TW

Crusaders: Another “white-nationalist” arrested for terror plot in Cape Town

After successful stings in Mpumalanga, Joburg and the Eastern Cape, another suspect linked to the Crusaders terror group has been found in CPT.

Crusaders terror plot suspects

Photo: @ali_naka / TW

A fifth person allegedly connected to the National Christian Resistance Movement (Crusaders) group has been busted in Kuilsriver, Cape Town this week. A 46-year-old suspect is due to appear in court on Friday, after he was charged in connection with a domestic terrorism plot in South Africa.

Another arrest in Crusaders case – what we know so far:

The group – lead by former military man and pastor Harry Knoesen – hold extremely racist beliefs, and had targeted key points of interests like shopping malls and informal settlements to set off their explosive devices. The man arrested in Cape Town was found to be in possession of his own explosives, and illegal firearms.

White-nationalist terror plot – who are Crusaders?

A Hawks spokesperson has since confirmed that the arrest was conducted at the suspect’s business property. This follows a raid in Mpumalanga and an operation in Eastern Cape to nab members of the group. The scale of their operation now seems country-wide, after the alleged Crusaders member was caught in the south-west. For those of you playing catch up, this is what we know about the group so far:

  • Harry Johannes Knoesen was captured by a Hawks raid on Thursday morning.
  • It’s understood that the 60-year-old has been in contact with several other neo-nazi groups.
  • “Factories” used to construct explosives, devices with detonators and unlicensed firearms have been discovered in connection with the Crusaders.
  • Knoesen has served in SANDF and acts as a “pastor” for his white nationalist beliefs. He shot to infamy with a series of videos calling for white South Africans to take up arms and declare war on the black majority.
  • A female suspect was arrested last weekend, and Riana Heyman is thought to be a “high-ranking” member of Crusaders.
  • Heyman, Knoesen and brothers Eric and Errol Abrams were in the Middelburg Magistrate’s Court on Monday.

Details of court appearances

The group will remain behind bars until their trial begins in the new year. Incarcerated for Christmas, members of the Crusdaers will be back in the dock on 12 January 2020, in what is sure to be an intensely-scrutinsed case. The two-year investigation into these terror plotters will continue through the Hawks.