Islamic State claims responsibility for massacre in Tunisia as death toll rises

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The Islamic State has claimed responsibility for yesterday’s terrorist attack in Sousse, Tunisia. The group has posted a photo of the gunmen it says carried out the shooting spree, identifying him as Abu Yahya al Qayrawani.

The Islamic State’s photo of al Qayrawani can be seen above.

The death toll has steadily risen, with Tunisian authorities now saying that at least 38 people were killed. “The nationalities of the killed, most of them are British, German, and French, this is the 95% of them,” Tunisian Prime Minister Habib Essid told the press, according to CNN. “The majority of them are British, then the second in number were German, then third in numbers were French.”

In addition, at least one Irish citizen was among the victims and dozens of others were wounded.

In terms of casualties, the shooting spree in Sousse is the jihadists’ most devastating attack in Tunisia. And it demonstrates the damage a lone gunmen can do using nothing more than an AK-47 or other small arms.

In June 2002, an al Qaeda suicide bomber attack a Tunisian synagogue, killing 19 people, including 14 Germans, 1 French citizen, and 4 Tunisians.

In March of this year, 22 people were killed by two gunmen at the Bardo Museum in Tunis. Twenty of the victims were foreign tourists. The Bardo Museum assault was quickly claimed by the Islamic State, although Tunisian authorities have also blamed the Uqba Ibn Nafi Brigade, which is part of al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM).

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The Islamic State’s claim of responsibility for the killings in Sousse was issued in the same format as past statements, with a red banner, a blue body and white text.

The message can be seen on the right.

A similar message was issued by the group claiming responsibility for yesterday’s suicide bombing at a Shiite mosque in Kuwait City. At least 27 people were killed in the bombing, and the Kuwaiti government says that 227 more were wounded.

The Islamic State portrays al Qayrawani as a “soldier of the Caliphate,” saying that he purposely gunned down citizens who belong to the “Crusader coalition.”

Thus far, there has been no claim of responsibility for yesterday’s attack on the Air Products facility near Lyon, France. One man was beheaded and others wounded. French authorities have identified the terrorist responsible as Yassin Sahli, a local deliveryman who was previously placed under surveillance due to his suspected ties to “radical Islamists.”

Thomas Joscelyn is a Senior Fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies and the Senior Editor for FDD's Long War Journal.

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4 Comments

  • mike merlo says:

    as usual Europeans naive as heck & dumb as dirt continue to go on vacation in Terrorist Zones, supposedly 6 to 7 Million in Tunisia last year alone

  • Aryan says:

    Gentlemen,
    It is not the way to get proves of the investigation without the investigation, taking the evidences from the TV channel sources.
    There are no reliable proves regarding the events:-
    1. Which real names belong to suspect;
    2. Where suspect (s) took a gun [I believe the Kalashnikov gun taken from the Tunisian military unit];
    3. How the investigative officials id”s the crime in comparison with the crime id of other countries.
    4. Reasons of killing was group sex in the hotel area, no other reason, according to allegedly IS comments outside Tunisia.
    It is 100% proved that the gunman (gunmen) had not been a suspect in any Tunisan official files.
    Even I would say “I ordered killing for suspect”, it does not mean that I and suspect had any connection previously.
    Accordingly, there are no proves that unofficial posts in “social” media on behalf of ISIL or “IS” are reliable proves of the connection of the event, which had been described as “terrorist attack”.

  • .. says:

    “And it demonstrates the damage a lone gunmen can do using nothing more than an AK-47 or other small arms.”

    It takes an immense amount of “courage” to slaughter people relaxing on a beach.

    RIP.

  • Michael Bitchyacockoff says:

    Maybe these people had to die in order for the lefties in the US and Europe to wake up and put some boots on the ground in the incubators of Syria and Iraq (thats what Zarqawi always referred to Iraq as – an Incubator – a perfect place to nurture tens of thousands of green, unskilled but very motivated disaffected youth with no hopes of anything good) . I’m still amazed that Obama lets the infected pustule that calls itself ‘IS’ fester and grow unchecked. Anybody who knows anything……… knows that we either deal with them now, or we let them gather strength, we let them entrench so they take more lives when we finally do get a President who has the SACK to drop the hammer. Obama knows this is going to be a dirty mess and he doesn’t want it on his resume. He would rather sacrifice the lives of many young and brave Americans by not doing anything now, knowing that after his term is over someone else will have to clean this up. All he wants is for his ‘vanilla’ legacy to look a little better when he retires instead of dealing with the most severe danger this country most likely has ever faced

Iraq

Islamic state

Syria

Aqap

Al shabaab

Boko Haram

Isis