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White extremists linked to Cape Town bombings

POLICE IN Cape Town are investigating possible connections between a white extremist group calling itself the White Wolves and a man arrested for questioning yesterday over two recent bomb attacks on a restaurant and a gay bar.

A South African police spokeswoman, Sally de Beer, said yesterday that a Cape Town radio station had received a letter said to be from the Arnold Lees Battalion of the White Wolves claiming responsibility for attacks on the Blah Blah gay bar and St Elmo's Pizza restaurant in which 57 people were injured.

After the St Elmo's blast, on 28 November, police and government leaders at first held Muslim fundamentalists responsible for the bombings. But Ms de Beer said detectives from Cape Town's anti-terrorist unit, Operation Good Hope, were now investigating possible links between the letter, the bombings and the white extremist who had been arrested.

The suspect, Deon Mostert, 26, was stopped at a roadblock in Beaufort West, about four hours north-east of Cape Town, a day after police issued his name and description to the public. A police spokesman said Mr Mostert did not resist arrest. Former neighbours described the suspect as a right-wing extremist with a history of learning difficulties and possible links to the police.

Ms de Beer said it was "certain statements concerning pipe bombs" that put Mr Mostert under suspicion but that the case was still open.

The original White Wolves was a racial supremacist organisation linked to the terrorist Barend Strydom, who shot dead seven black people at random in central Pretoria in 1988. Security sources had long believed Strydom to be the only member.