Results tagged “Tunisia”
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In the wake of recent political freedom in Tunisia, the country has "sent more foreign fighters than any other country to Iraq and Syria to join the extremist group that calls itself the Islamic State." Elections and security in the western city of Kasserine are imperiled by the growth of jihadist groups in the area. The International Crisis Group issued a briefing noting increased cooperation between terrorist groups and crime cartels along Tunisia's borders with Algeria and Libya.
Six "smugglers" who were arrested in Ben Guerdane are now accused of supporting "terrorist" activities. The six men are accused of recruiting Salafists to wage jihad in Libya and Syria. Their group affiliation has not been disclosed.
Seven soldiers were injured in a clash with religious extremists near a national guard station in Douz in Kaybelie following the arrest of an extremist. Security forces arrested five Salafists in a raid on a mosque in Douar Hicher in Mandouba; and two more in Meknassi in Sidi Bouzid who had explosives, military uniforms, and computer equipment.
The Interior Ministry announced the arrest of 12 more terrorists from the Sidi Bouzid area; 12 others were arrested previously in two raids on Sept. 5. Three people were arrested in Kef yesterday for unauthorized use of hunting rifles. The NCA approved four new draft antiterrorism provisions, but faces an uphill battle to complete the drafting of its antiterrorism law before a new parliament is elected in October; so far only 36 out of 136 articles have been approved.
Security forces are increasing vigilance against terrorist attacks during the runup to elections in October; officials have claimed that over 1,700 terrorists were arrested in Tunisia between Jan. 1 and July 31. Authorities in Sidi Bouzid arrested two arms traffickers for an extremist group yesterday and confiscated quantities of RPGs, grenades, and ammunition from their van. Customs officials also seized a quantity of weapons from a Tunisian-registered van outside Ben Guerdane yesterday.
The Interior Ministry said six gunmen had attempted to kill parliament member Mohamed al Nasri at his home in Kasserine, but he had escaped after jumping into a neighbor's courtyard and breaking his leg. Islamists assassinated two secular politicians in Tunisia last year. Salafists tried to attack a national guard member in his home in Kasserine. Security forces arrested a suspected terrorist in Gafsa who was exchanging foreign currency. The parliament adopted portions of a draft law on terrorism and money laundering.
A hospital treated 10 Salafists injured by buckshot during a confrontation with two other people in Kasserine. Earlier this week, national guard forces in Kasserine arrested eight people linked to the Jebel Chaambi terrorists. The antiterrorism unit arrested three women for supporting and providing comfort to Jebel Chaambi terrorists; one of the women is the wife of Mourad Ben Allala Gharsli a.k.a. Garsallaoui, the deputy emir of the terrorist group there.
In addition to selling 12 Black Hawk helicopters to Tunisia, the US plans to give Tunisia $60 million in military aid to bolster its battle against Islamist militants. The Defence Ministry said planes spotted over Tunisia's southern border with Libya were Tunisian aircraft conducting routine border patrols. Religious Affairs Minister Mounir Tlili said 25 mosques are still "out of control."
Police fired at a car that was ignoring signals to stop at a checkpoint in Kasserine, killing two children who were passengers in the vehicle; the Interior Ministry said the roadblock had been set up to intercept an armed group that was traveling by car to Kasserine. Security forces seized nine Tunisian vehicles at the Ras Jedir border crossing that were loaded with smuggled Libyan fuel, and shot at two Libyan vehicles that were trying to force their way into Tunisian territory, causing them to turn back. The NAC's discussion of new antiterrorism laws was postponed until after Sept. 1.
For security reasons, the Transport Ministry canceled all flights coming from Mitiga, Misrata, and Sirte airports in Libya. The Interior Ministry announced the arrest of seven terrorists earlier this week; four were detained in Gabes as they tried to flee into Libya, and three others in Medenine. The suspects in Medenine were thought to be document forgers linked to a terrorist group in Libya; police seized a gun, a printer, and items used for forging passport stamps. All seven are suspected of involvement in a foiled Ansar al Sharia plot to assassinate political and security officials earlier this month. Authorities also arrested nine other suspected terrorists in several locations yesterday; four had attempted to kill a soldier in Ettadhamen, two were planning to attack security forces in El Kef, and others were accused of pledging allegiance to Ansar al Sharia and a foreign terrorist group, among other crimes.