South African security authorities say a teenage girl was taken off an airline flight on suspicion that she was leaving her home in Cape Town to join the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) group.
The 15-year-old girl has been returned to her family’s care.
State Security spokesman Brian Dube said in a statement Monday that the girl had been questioned before she was handed over to them
Dube said the State Security department was investigating how the teenager had paid for the flight and how she may have been recruited.
South Africa’s State Security Minister David Mahlobo said in local media that the girl’s social media accounts showed she was interested in joining the Islamist extremist group.
In February, local media reported that a South African who called himself Abu Hurayra al-Afriki [The African] had joined ISIS in Syria, and was trying to recruit other South Africans via social media.
It was the first reported case of a South African joining the group.
US officials believe that more than 20,000 people from more than 100 countries have gone to Syria and Iraq, where IS has declared a caliphate.
British officials have said that this includes at least 600 people from the UK.
IS has established a presence in Africa, with militant groups in Nigeria and Libya pledging allegiance to it and carrying out bombing campaigns in its name.
He had set up now-suspended Tumblr and Twitter accounts to advise would-be jihadists on how to do the same.