Asharq Al-awsat English Middle-east and International News and Opinion from Asharq Al-awsat Newspaper

Tunisia Denies Infiltration of ISIS Militants Into Its Territory

Tunisia Denies Infiltration of ISIS Militants Into Its Territory

Tuesday, 12 November, 2019 - 09:00
Police officers in downtown Tunis (Reuters)
Tunisia - Mongi Saidani

Tunisia’s Interior Minister has confirmed that what has been circulated on social media and some Tunisian and foreign press websites, about the return of militants belonging to extremist organizations or have participated in terrorist operations in the hotbeds of tension, is false.

It stressed Monday that this news aims at raising Tunisian people’s concerns.

Whoever is found to be involved in terrorist organizations outside the Tunisian borders and has participated in extremist acts will be referred upon his return to the country to the competent judicial bodies, security sources explained.

They added that these bodies are represented in the anti-terrorism judiciary to take a range of measures in accordance with the law on terrorism.

Regarding the number of extremist elements whose return to Tunisia has been confirmed, Head of Tunisia's National Counter-Terrorism Commission Mokhtar Ben Nasr said in previous media statements that there are about 1,000 terrorists.

While the total number of young Tunisians who joined extremist organizations in hotbeds of tension (Syria, Libya, and Iraq) is not less than 3,000, according to official government statistics.

Ajnad al-Khilafa- affiliated with terrorist ISIS in Tunisia – pledged on Friday allegiance to the new leader of ISIS, Abu Ibrahim al-Quraishi.

This battalion, entrenched in Djebel Mghila and Jebel ech Chambi, published a picture showing six armed men in mountain regions as they express loyalty to this group under its new command.

Following this move, Tunisian security sources said counter-terrorism teams have started to study the location where the picture was taken and read its content to identify the terrorist elements.

These teams have since then been combing the places where these elements are expected to be hiding.

Sources also affirmed that they have recently monitored movements of pro-ISIS elements and reported the success of the military and security institutions in preventing the infiltration of new elements from neighboring Algeria.

These elements have been planning to join the groups hiding in the border mountains between Tunisia and Algeria.

Tunisian intelligence services have recently issued several warnings that extremist elements seek to infiltrate Tunisia from Algeria and Libya, using false identities, in addition to planning to carry out terrorist plots inside the Tunisian territory to spread chaos and undermine public order.

Editor Picks