Tunisia Breaks up Terrorist Cell Sending Youth to Hotbed of Extremism

Police officers outside parliament. Reuters file photo
Police officers outside parliament. Reuters file photo
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Tunisia Breaks up Terrorist Cell Sending Youth to Hotbed of Extremism

Police officers outside parliament. Reuters file photo
Police officers outside parliament. Reuters file photo

The Tunisian Ministry of Interior has broken up a terrorist cell that sends youth to hotbeds of militancy in Tajerouine town in Kef Governorate, 160 km northwest of Tunis.

The ministry said that anti-terrorist security apparatuses have arrested two members of the cell and issued charges against them on “suspicion of joining a terrorist organization” in Libya and Syria.

The two suspects admitted to investigators that they have been coordinating with a takfiri element in a neighboring country and that they are linked to two Tunisian fugitive terrorists, according to official information.

Earlier this year, Tunisia set up a parliamentary commission of inquiry into sending youth to terrorist hotbeds and promised to reveal the parties facilitating the process of thousands of Tunisians joining extremist organizations.

In this context, Assistant Rapporteur Laila Shtewi said in a press statement that the committee will soon hear the testimony of a number of former ministers, who mainly functioned between 2012 and 2014, which witnessed the peak of activity by networks that sent Tunisian youth to areas of tension in Libya, Syria and Iraq.

Meanwhile, the Tunisian Interior Ministry said that it has arrested a takfiri element residing in Moknine following a tip-off on his whereabouts and after he was sentenced to prison in absentia.

The anti-terrorism unit in Monastir confirmed that the detainee was being pursued at the request of the Tunis Court of First Instance on charges of joining a terrorist organization, citing a three-year prison sentence for his participation in terrorist acts.

Notably, Tunisian security reports confirm that dozens of Tunisians have joined terrorist organizations in Syria and have passed through Libya, where they were trained to use weapons and make explosives.

Some have returned to Tunisia to commit terrorist acts such as the attack that was carried out by Jaber al-Khashnawi and Yassine al-Obeidi and targeted the Bardo National Museum on March 18, 2015 and Saifuddin Rizki's attack in a tourist resort in Sousse on June 26, 2015.



Israel Pounds Central Gaza Camps, Deepens Invasion of Rafah

A view of a damaged building, amid the ongoing conflict between Israel and Hamas, at the Rafah Crossing, Gaza, in this screengrab obtained from a social media video released on June 19, 2024. Doron Kadosh, Glz/via REUTERS
A view of a damaged building, amid the ongoing conflict between Israel and Hamas, at the Rafah Crossing, Gaza, in this screengrab obtained from a social media video released on June 19, 2024. Doron Kadosh, Glz/via REUTERS
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Israel Pounds Central Gaza Camps, Deepens Invasion of Rafah

A view of a damaged building, amid the ongoing conflict between Israel and Hamas, at the Rafah Crossing, Gaza, in this screengrab obtained from a social media video released on June 19, 2024. Doron Kadosh, Glz/via REUTERS
A view of a damaged building, amid the ongoing conflict between Israel and Hamas, at the Rafah Crossing, Gaza, in this screengrab obtained from a social media video released on June 19, 2024. Doron Kadosh, Glz/via REUTERS

Israeli forces pounded areas in the central Gaza Strip overnight, killing three people and wounding dozens of others, according to medics, while tanks deepened their invasion into Rafah in the south, residents said.
Israeli planes struck a house in Al-Nuseirat camp, killing two people and wounding 12 others, while tanks shelled areas in Al-Maghazi and Al-Bureij camps, wounding many other people, health officials said, according to Reuters. Nuseirat, Maghazi, and Bureij are three of Gaza's eight historic refugee camps.
In Deir al-Balah, a city packed with displaced people in the central Gaza Strip, an Israeli airstrike killed one Palestinian and wounded several others on Thursday, medics said.
The Israeli military said on Wednesday forces were continuing their operations across the enclave targeting militants and military infrastructure in what it described as "precise, intelligence-based" activities.
More than eight months into the war in Gaza, Israel's advance is now focused on the two last areas its forces had yet to storm: Rafah on Gaza's southern edge and the area surrounding Deir al-Balah in the center. The operations have forced more than a million people to flee since May, the vast majority already displaced from other parts of the enclave.
In Rafah, near the border with Egypt, Israeli tanks stationed deep in the western and central areas of the city stepped up bombardment, forcing more families living in the far coastal areas to flee northward. Some residents said the pace of the raid has been accelerated in the past two days.
"The tanks took control of most of the areas in Rafah. People living by the beach have also started to leave toward Khan Younis and central areas in fear because of the continued bombardment," said Abu Wasim, a resident from Rafah's Al-Shaboura neighborhood, who quit his home over a week ago before tanks rolled in reaching the heart of the city.
Rafah housed over half of Gaza's 2.3 million people until May 7 when Israeli forces began the ground offensive into the city. Fewer than 100,000 are now believed to be left behind.
There has been no sign of let-up in the fighting as efforts by international mediators, backed by the United States, have failed to persuade Israel and Hamas to agree to a ceasefire.
The armed wings of Hamas and Islamic Jihad said fighters battled Israeli forces with anti-tank rockets and mortar bombs, and have in some areas detonated pre-planted explosive devices against army units.
On Thursday, Israeli authorities freed 33 Palestinians who had been detained during the past months by Israeli forces in different areas of the enclave. The freed detainees were admitted into Al-Aqsa Hospital in Deir Al-Balah in the central Gaza Strip after they complained of torture and mistreatment by Israeli jailers.