Convicted terrorists Brandon-Lee and Tony-Lee Thulsie released on parole
The Thulsie twins, who were convicted on terrorism-related charges have been released on parole.
Their attorney, Yousha Tayob, confirmed that the pair had been released. A highly placed source confirmed that the brothers had been released from prison on Thursday.
This comes six months after their trial was concluded in the Johannesburg high court. The pair had entered into a plea agreement deal with the state after spending six years behind bars, awaiting trial.
In February, Brandon-Lee Thulsie received eight years and Tony-Lee was sentenced to 11 years. The judge said the six years they had already spent behind bars would be taken into consideration.
The two were arrested in July 2016. They were accused of conspiracy‚ incitement to commit the crime of terrorism, and conspiring and attempting to commit acts associated with terrorist activities after plotting to blow up the US Embassy and Jewish institutions in SA on behalf of terror group Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (Isil).
In an interview with Salaamedia, published on Twitter, their attorney Nadeem Mohamed said that because of the nature of the charges, parts of the plea deal they entered into with the state were to remain confidential.
The 12 original charges were removed to accommodate the charges they admitted to.
At the time, the Daily Maverick reported that in exchange for their guilty pleas, the state withdrew other charges which included financing terrorist activities and soliciting support for a terrorist organisation.
They pled guilty to:
- attempting to travel to Syria twice in 2015 to join Islamic State and Isil for terrorist activities, and
- downloading Isil literature, including manuals on making and acquiring explosives.
Tony-Lee pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit a terrorist attack in SA and to requesting instructions on how to make an explosive device, mentioning the targets were the US, the UK, Russian or French diplomats, embassies in Pretoria, and Jewish interests. He said he would blow himself up in the attack.
According to TV station Newzroom Afrika the literature downloaded included an e-book called How to Survive the West Mujahid 2015. The news agency said the material included a step-by-step guide on how to evade law-enforcement and intelligence agencies “so one can ultimately train and carry out an attack”.
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