Results tagged “Tunisia”
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A news outlet has claimed that Ansar al Sharia may use female suicide bombers in forthcoming attacks. Security forces have recently arrested "many young people" in possession of pictures and leaflets of Osama bin Laden and Ansar al Sharia leader Abou Iyadh. Authorities refused to pardon Jabeur Mejri, who was imprisoned last year for posting Prophet Mohammed cartoons on his Facebook page; the Minister of Human Rights and Transitional Justice said that "[i]nsulting the Prophet could not be considered as an act of free speech" in Tunisia.
An army captain was killed and another soldier was injured when a landmine planted by Islamist militants exploded on Mount Chaambi. The National Constituent Assembly is considering the reintroduction of habous, a set of Islamic laws dismantled in 1956 that ensures property is not transferred outside a family but may be given to religious and charitable institutions. Authorities recently arrested El Haj Etounssi, an international weapons smuggler who has helped arm and finance al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb.
A Tunis court has postponed until Jan. 28, 2014 the appeals trial of 20 persons suspected of involvement in the Sept. 14, 2012 attack on the US Embassy in Tunis. The prosecution and the defense had each appealed the May 28 decision to give the suspects two-year suspended sentences. The al Qaeda-linked group Ansar al Sharia is suspected in the attack; one of its operatives, but not ringleader Seifallah ben Hassine (a.k.a. Abu Iyad al Tunisi ), has been arrested.
In Silania, hundreds of protesters attacked the police and the national guard headquarters, injuring 50 police officers. Protesters stormed the local governorate building in Gafsa and set fire to the offices of the ruling Ennahda and CPR parties. The motive for the protests was said to be unclear and no arrests were made. A year ago over 300 protesters were injured in clashes with police in Silania.
The military resumed its bombing of suspected terrorist hideouts in the Chaambi and Sammama regions of Kasserine last week; operations against al Qaeda-linked militants near the Algerian border have been ongoing for months. Three landmines have exploded in the area this month alone. Abderraouf Ayadi, president of the Wafa Movement and a member of the National Constituent Assembly, urged the government to engage in dialogue with the banned group Ansar al Sharia, which is blamed for for landmines and clashes with security forces.
Security forces killed an armed terrorist and arrested eight more in a raid in Kebili province. Two policemen were injured during the operation, and 12 more suspects were detained for questioning. In the ongoing sweep, security forces seized grenades, a truck bomb, five cars, communications equipment, and a large quantity of cash.
Security along the Libyan border has been beefed up after a report that Ansar al Sharia was planning to stage simultaneous terror attacks across the country using suicide bombers trained in Syria and Libya. One rumor said 15,000 terrorists were planning to attack Tunisia from Libya. The Hizb Ettahrir party, a hardline Salafist group that was recognized by the government in July 2012, protested in Tunis, calling for a caliphate. An activist group accused the government of involvement in the assassinations of liberal leaders Chokri Belaid and Mohamed Brahmi.
President Marzouki extended the state of emergency for another eight months due to persistent instability. Security forces arrested 20 terrorists on Nov. 1 and confiscated mines and explosives. The government has blamed Ansar al Sharia for recent suicide attacks. Ansar al Sharia Tunisia posted messages on its Twitter account on Nov. 2 urging Tunisians to support the group and turn against the government.
Authorities arrested five members of Ansar al Sharia suspected of plotting the recent bombing at a hotel in Sousse and attempted bombing in Monastir. Military forces launched an offensive against terrorists in the Sidi Bouzid region.
A suicide bomber detonated outside a hotel in the coastal city of Sousse, killing only himself; authorities are pursuing an additional suspect. Police foiled a suicide attack in Monistir, arresting a suspected bomber at the tomb of former president Habib Bourguiba. The suspects are said to be Tunisian Salafists. An Islamist hacking group called Fallaga took over the Facebook page and Twitter account of the Human Rights and Transitional Justice minister; one post by the group mentioned Kamel Gadhgadhi, a suspect in the murder of politician Chokri Belaid. Security forces protested in Tunis against growing insecurity in the country and the politicization of their forces. "Terrorists" attacked a National Guard post near the Algerian border on Oct. 26.