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Tunisia Uncovers International Network that Smuggles Terrorists to Europe

Tunisia Uncovers International Network that Smuggles Terrorists to Europe

Saturday, 4 August, 2018 - 10:45
Hospital workers transport the body of member of Tunisian security forces, who was killed in an ambush in the northwest of the country close to the border with Algeria, at a hospital morgue in Tunis, Tunisia, July 8, 2018. REUTERS/Zoubeir Souissi

The Tunisian Interior Ministry has uncovered an international network that smuggles terrorists from Iraq and Turkey towards Europe using forged foreign passports.

It announced the arrest of four Iraqis and a Tunisian who are members of the terror network. It also reported that it is tracking two other active elements in same network.

According to official government data, about 3,000 Tunisians have joined terrorist organizations in the hotbeds of tension, in Syria, Libya and Iraq, and 800 of them have returned to Tunisia.

Tunisian authorities say that terrorist elements active abroad are working to return to the country illegally after being strangled in areas of external conflict. They stressed that these elements are trying to avoid prosecution by working under cover.

The disclosure of the network has revived earlier Tunisian fears of using more than 4,500 Tunisian passports without names that were stolen in July 2017 from the headquarters of the Consulate in Lyon, France.

Tunisia also fears that some of these passports could have been given to terrorist elements.

Meanwhile, Interior Minister Hichem Fourati announced during a visit to Monastir City on Friday that authorities are keen to provide more support to the security units deployed in the border areas, including private equipment such as armored vehicles, to prevent the infiltration of terrorists into the country.

He said that the Ministry of Interior is ready to support field security units in all tourist areas as efforts are focused on ensuring the success of the current tourism season.

In this context, the National Unit of Investigation into Terrorism and Organized Crimes arrested Friday evening two Tunisian terrorist elements.

The elements were found guilty of communicating with a Tunisian terrorist, who is residing in Germany and was arrested there after being involved in planning and preparing to carry out a terrorist attack.

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