Mohammed al Zawahiri and two of his Egyptian jihadist allies have issued a statement criticizing the Democratic Jihad Party. “Jihad and Democracy are opposites and don’t mix,” they say.
Agence France Presse interviewed Sami Ben Khemais Essid, describing him as one of the “organizers” of Ansar al Sharia Tunisia’s planned conference this weekend. Essid was formerly the “head” of al Qaeda’s operations in Italy, according to the US State Department.
The Tunisian government has interfered in Ansar al Sharia Tunisia’s events and may refuse to grant the group permission to hold its third annual congress. Ansar al Sharia’s leaders have responded with statements condemning the Ennahda regime.
In a video posted online on April 30, Sheik Kamel Zarouq, a member of Ansar al Sharia Tunisia, endorsed al Qaeda’s global jihad.
Tunisia is seeing an influx of radical preachers from outside the country. The leader of Ennahda suggested the Salafists do this more than one year ago.
Jihadist groups, including the al Qaeda-linked Ansar al Sharia Tunisia, are cheering on the announcement that al Qaeda’s affiliates in Iraq and Syria are henceforth to be known as the “Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant.”
In a Facebook posting, Ansar al Sharia Tunisia took issue with “Jewish” Senator John McCain’s visit to Tunisia this week. McCain met with prime minister Ali Larayedh, who has been in a war of words with Ansar al Sharia Tunisia’s leader.
Jihadist social media sites are asking supporters to pray for Abdullah Azzam al Qahtani, an al Qaeda in Iraq leader who admittedly proposed an attack against the 2010 FIFA World Cup. Al Qahtani, the sites say, was scheduled to be executed inside Iraq this week.
Ansar al Sharia has alleged that American drones are flying overhead inside Tunisian territory. We have no independent information confirming the use of drones in Tunisia. The group is using the allegation as part of its propaganda campaign.
Tunisia’s prime minister accused Abu Iyad al Tunisi, the head of Ansar al Sharia Tunisia, of being “deeply involved” in violence and arms trafficking. Abu Iyad, in turn, released a statement threatening to “direct our war against” members of the Ennahda government.
The role of Tunisians in the Syrian war has become a hot topic in recent weeks. Ansar al Sharia Tunisia continues to lionize Tunisian “martyrs” and recently devoted a chant to them on its Facebook and YouTube pages.
Two Facebook posts contain messages from Ansar al Sharia Egypt leader Ahmed Ashush honoring slain al Qaeda leader Abu Yahya al Libi and praising Ansar al Sharia Tunisia. The statements were first published last year but were re-posted online in recent weeks.
Magharebia reports that a Salafi jihadist leader in Tunisia has “officially announce(d)” his support for al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb’s call for jihad.
The head of Ansar al Sharia Tunisia has said that foreign jihads have “emptied Tunisia of its young,” but his group’s Facebook page openly celebrates the “martyrdom” of Tunisians killed while fighting in Syria.
After having its official Facebook page repeatedly deleted, Ansar al Sharia Tunisia has launched its own website.
The assassination of a popular politician has sparked a crisis in Tunisia. Ansar al Sharia Tunisia, an al Qaeda-linked group, has called for a common Islamist solution to the crisis.
The Ansar al Sharia Facebook pages analyzed by The Long War Journal contain valuable information, in addition to bluster. Two Facebook pages we reported on have been taken down since our articles first appeared.
On its Facebook page this week, Ansar al Sharia Tunisia honored two senior al Qaeda leaders who have been reportedly killed. The page contains numerous posts dedicated to global jihadist causes in addition to the group’s provision of social services.
This is the third time that Ansar al Sharia Tunisia has used social media to update Ali Ani al Harzi’s case. In December, the group prayed for his release and published photos of the FBI agents who interviewed him.
The Daily Beast reported that the brother of a key suspect in the Sept. 11, 2012 terrorist attack in Benghazi is an al Qaeda in Iraq facilitator.
The Tunisian government has freed Ali Harzi, a key suspect in the Sept. 11, 2012 terrorist attack in Benghazi, Libya. The FBI questioned Harzi in December, and Ansar al Sharia Tunisia released photos of the investigating agents online.
Al-Bayariq Media Foundation, Ansar al Sharia Tunisia’s media outfit, has released photos purportedly showing three FBI agents who questioned Ali al Harzi, a suspect in the Sept. 11 terrorist attack in Benghazi, Libya. The three FBI agents reportedly questioned Harzi about the attack in Benghazi, as well as the Sept. 14 assault on the US Embassy in Tunis.
The Tunisian government has arrested members of a terrorist cell trained by al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM). Tunisia’s interior minister says that members of the cell were “active within” Ansar al Sharia Tunisia.
Two convicted members of an al Qaeda-affiliated terror network in Italy are now senior members of Ansar al Sharia Tunisia. One of them, Sami Ben Khemais Essid, was the head of al Qaeda’s operations in Italy and plotted to attack the US Embassy in Rome in early 2001.
The Tunisian government arrested Bilel Chaouachi in connection with the Sept. 14 storming of the US Embassy in Tunis. Chaouachi has been identified as a member of Ansar al Sharia Tunisia, which orchestrated the embassy assault, and has openly praised al Qaeda’s leaders.