People Against Gangsterism and Drugs (PAGAD)

From: "Chapter 8; Other Groups of Concern," Country Reports on Terrorism 2005, US Department of State, April 30, 2006.

a.k.a. Muslims Against Global Oppression
Muslims Against Illegitimate Leaders

People Against Gangsterism and Drugs (PAGAD) and its ally Qibla (an Islamic fundamentalist group that favors political Islam and takes an anti-U.S. and anti-Israel stance) view the South African Government as a threat to Islamic values. The two groups work to promote a greater political voice for South African Muslims. PAGAD has used front names such as Muslims Against Global Oppression and Muslims Against Illegitimate Leaders when launching anti-Western protests and campaigns.

PAGAD formed in November 1995 as a vigilante group in reaction to crime in some neighborhoods of Cape Town. In September 1996, a change in the group's leadership resulted in a change in the group's goal, and it began to support a violent jihad to establish an Islamic state. Between 1996 and 2000, PAGAD conducted a total of 189 bomb attacks, including nine bombings in the western Cape that caused serious injuries. PAGAD's targets included South African authorities, moderate Muslims, synagogues, gay nightclubs, tourist attractions, and Western-associated restaurants. PAGAD is believed to have masterminded the bombing on August 1998, of the Cape Town Planet Hollywood. Since 2001, PAGAD's violent activities have been severely curtailed by law enforcement and prosecutorial efforts against leading members of the organization. Qibla leadership has organized demonstrations against visiting U.S. dignitaries and other protests, but the extent of PAGAD's involvement is uncertain.

Early estimates were several hundred members. Current operational strength is unknown, but probably vastly diminished.

Location/Area of Operation
Operates mainly in the Cape Town area.

External Aid
May have ties to international Islamic extremists.