Results tagged “Tunisia”
Would you like to limit the tag results display to a specific section?
If you do, then pick any of the sections below:
Or simply go to the aggregated tag results from:
Abu Iyad al Tunisi, the leader of Ansar al Sharia Tunisia, called the ruling Islamist Ennahda party a "tyrant" after the arrest of the group's spokesman and the prevention of rallies by the group over the weekend. Al Tunisi, a follower of al Qaeda-linked Abu Qatada, is wanted for the September 2012 attack on the US Embassy in Tunis. A Tunisian feminist who tried to disrobe near a Kairouan mosque in protest against a planned Ansar al Sharia gathering was arrested.
Supporters of the al Qaeda-linked Ansar al Sharia Tunisia clashed with police in Kairouan and Tunis, where some 500 militants threw rocks, set fire to police cars, and replaced a Tunisian flag with al Qaeda's banner; police fired tear gas at the protesters, who had defied a ban against holding gatherings this weekend. At least 14 people were wounded in the violence, including 11 policemen. Ansar al Sharia spokesman Saifeddine Rais was detained this morning.
The fugitive head of Ansar al Sharia in Tunisia, Abou Iyadh, threatened war against the government for cracking down on jihadists. Sami Essid, another of the group's leaders, confirmed that Ansar al Sharia's third annual conference will take place on May 19 in Kairouan; a spokesperson said the group expects some 30,000 to 40,000 people to attend. A liberal member of government called for an investigation into the group's financing and for the creation of intelligence-gathering agencies.
Foreign Minister Jarandi said about 800 Tunisians are currently fighting with Islamist rebels in Syria; 132 Tunisians are said to have been killed in Aleppo in February alone. The Interior Ministry claims that border controls have kept some 1,000 Tunisians from traveling to Syria to fight. Police clashed with about 1,000 Salafists in Tunis who had without authorization set up tents to preach outside a mosque. The Salafists wielded knives and threw rocks and petrol bombs at the police, who attempted to disperse them with tear gas.
A Libyan man who was trying to smuggle 150 kilos of TNT into the country was arrested in the harbor town of Al Khetif in Ben Guerdane governorate. The explosives were found in the rigid inflatable boat he was using.
Military authorities said the jihadist group they are tracking in the Mount Chaambi region has ties to the al Qaeda-linked Okba Ibn Nafaa brigade; 16 members of the brigade were arrested in December. The Chaambi jihadists are said to include fighters from "neighboring countries," including Algeria, and veterans of the Malian conflict. President Marzouki traveled out to meet the troops in the search operation, and said, "We are currently experiencing a crisis that requires a national effort."
Tunisian forces pursuing a group of 20 to 50 jihadists in the Mount Chaambi area have been unable to capture any of them, although caches of explosives, documents, and food have been seized. Operations against an affiliated jihadist group in the Kef region are ongoing.
Security forces are continuing operations against two armed jihadist groups, one in Jebel Chaambi and another in the Kef region, that began April 30. Algeria is helping with intelligence-sharing. Although reportedly beseiged on the Tunisian and Algerian sides, the terrorists have wounded some 15 security force members, and none of the terrorists have been killed or captured. Former Prime Minister Jebali said: "The terrorist danger preys on us from all sides."
The interior minister claimed that security forces arrested hundreds of "Salafists" who are involved with funneling Tunisian recruits to Syria to wage jihad against President Assad's regime. The Salafists recruited the men in mosques and operated under the guise of charities.
Salafists stormed a female student hostel in Tunis to stop a performance of music and dance. The extremists threw stones and bottles at the young women and broke windows; the police were present and did not intervene. The Interior Ministry had no comment on the incident.
Salafists tried to kill a school administrator in Nabeul who refused entry to a student wearing a niqab. A recent poll found that over 70% of Tunisians are worried about rising religious extremism in the country, with young adults the most concerned, and women more concerned than men.
Hundreds of Salafists attacked a police station in Hergla; police fired back, killing one person and injuring others. The Salafists were protesting the arrest of comrades who had attacked alcohol sellers. Martyrs' Day on April 9 saw competing demonstrations: the ruling Islamist Ennahda party, Salafists, and the allied League for the Protection of the Revolution; and liberals and secularists seeking justice for the victims of the 2011 revolution.
Tunisia began a joint security operation with Algeria against "a terrorist group consisting of 11 terrorists based in a mountainous area in El Kef." Authorities released Salafist imam Imed Ben Saleh, a.k.a. Abou Abdullah Ettounsi, following his deportation from Egypt for forging jihadist documents. In March Ettounsi told Tunisian TV he had fought with the Free Syrian Army, and that about 3,500 Tunisians had gone to Syria to fight, including 13 girls who went there for "coital jihad." The UN's Stolen Asset Recovery team gave the government $29 million from the assets of former President Zine el Abidine Ben Ali.
Security forces monitored Tunis airport after Salafist websites called for a big turnout to welcome Imed ben Salah, a.k.a. Abou Abdallah Ettounsi, who was ordered out of Egypt for helping produce false documents for jihadists traveling to conflict zones. The judiciary is investigating a jihadist recruiting network that sends fighters to Syria.
Salafists torched a new beach development in Hergla. The government is concerned about falling tourism revenues, which have declined significantly due to security concerns since the revolution two years ago.
Protesters demanded the resignation of the minister of women's affairs for allegedly failing to stand up for women's rights against Islamists and the ruling Ennahda party. Some 50 ministers have signed a no-confidence vote against her. Counter-demonstrators chanted that "Tunisia is Islamic and not secular."
The government is investigating the jihadist recruiting networks that send young Tunisians to fight in Syria. Prime Minister Larayedh said the government has already stopped a number of young Tunisians from leaving for "uncalculated adventures." He criticized Salafist views, and Ansar al Sharia responded with threats. Authorities are also investigating Abou Zeid Ettounsi, a Tunisian Islamist accused of using a TV appearance to call for jihad in Syria.
Concerns are mounting about the estimated 12,000 Tunisians who have gone to Syria for jihad. The Algerian army is helping track and monitor more than 300 jihadists who have fled al Qaeda and MUJAO bases in Mali for Tunisia. Prosecutors in Tunis have begun trying to crack down on extremist groups that recruit young Tunisians for jihad.
Mohamed Anis Chaieb, head of the Salafi jihadist movement in Tunisia, announced the group's allegiance to al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb. Another Tunisian Salafi jihadist, Ansar al Sharia leader Saif Allah bin Hussein (a.k.a. Abou Iyadh), is currently being investigated by security services.
The National Constituent Assembly approved the government of Prime Minister Larayedh. He vowed that the new government would "act with great firmness" against those who would try to impose their ideology on others through hate or violence.