A Tunisian anti-terrorism investigative judge decided on Tuesday to extend for four months the detention of several suspects over the sending of Tunisian recruits to hotbeds of tension and terrorism during 2012 and 2013.
The suspects include former interior minister and vice-president of the Ennahda Movement, Ali Laarayed.
The decision also includes former officials in the Ministry of Interior, Abdul Karim Al Obaidi who was the former head of the aircraft protection squad at Tunis-Carthage airport, and Fathi Al-Baladi, who is accused of establishing a parallel security apparatus that follows the Ennahda leaders' instructions.
Security and judicial investigations also comprised Sayf al-Din Rayes, a former spokesman for the banned Ansar al-Sharia organization and a detainee in this case.
The Tunisian anti-terrorism investigative judge issued in Sep. 2022 six-month imprisonment sentences against suspects in this case. The detention was extended for four additional months.
Recently, the period was extended for four more months in compliance with the law on combating terrorism and money laundering, issued in July 2015.
Investigations were launched in the wake of a complaint filed by former MP Fatima Al-Masdi of the Nidaa Tounes against political and security figures accusing them of sending thousands of Tunisians to the hotbed abroad, especially Libya and Syria.
Upon this complaint, Laarayed was arrested on Dec. 19, 2022, but no judicial orders were issued in this case.
This made Ennahda institutions, represented in its executive office and Shura council, demand the release of Laarayed.