Tunisian Armed Forces

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Militants killed in Tunisia
Written by Reuters -
6th May 2019



Tunisian soldiers.

Tunisian police killed three Islamist militants in Sidi Bouzid, a security source told Reuters.

Police seized weapons in the operation, the source added, without giving details.

The Interior Ministry said security forces foiled attacks planned in the holy month of Ramadan after they arrested “a dangerous terrorist” last week.

One of the Arab world’s most secular nations, Tunisia became a target for militants after being hailed as a beacon of democratic change with an uprising against autocrat Zine Abidine Ben Ali in 2011.

Tunisia suffered three major attacks in 2015, including two against tourists, one at a museum in Tunis and the second on a beach in Sousse. The third targeted presidential guards in the capital. All three attacks were claimed by Islamic State.

 

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Tunisian Takfiri Jailed for Inciting Women to Join ISIS
08 May, 2019

Workers clean the site of an explosion in the center of the Tunisian capital Tunis, Tunisia October 29, 2018. (File photo: Reuters)

Tunis - Mongi Saidani

The court of first instance has sentenced a Tunisian takfiri to 18 months in prison for inciting young people to join ISIS terrorist organization.

The counter-terrorism agency had placed the takfiri fighter called “Emir of Tajerouine” under surveillance. Tajerouine refers to the city where he lived.

Investigators said he contacted a group of four girls via social media, encouraging them to adopt extremist thinking.

They said he asked the girls for marriage and then invited them to head to Syria to join ISIS.

After his arrest, the man denied his intention to travel to Syria or wanting to send the girls there by urging them to join the terrorist organization. However, he admitted to his desire to marry the girls.

In other news, Tunisian security sources confirmed the arrest of Tunisian terrorist Raed Touati during a recent operation in the Sidi Ali Ben Aoun area of Sidi Bouzid, a city in central Tunisia.

The operation allowed security forces to have access to very important information on the terrorist elements in the mountainous areas, especially in al-Kasserine, Jendouba, and el-Kef.

Investigators were able to gather clear and accurate data on the number of terrorists killed in the mountains and their burial places.

Touati informed investigators that around 18 terrorists were buried in the mountains. Most of them were killed in clashes with the army and guards, while others died in the explosion of landmines that they had planted in the mountains.

The latest pre-emptive security operation succeeded in thwarting terrorist plots by al-Qaeda’s Oqba Bin Nafie Brigade to target mainly security and military forces during the month of Ramadan.

 

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Tunisia: 3 Suspects Sentenced to Jail for Aiding Terrorist Family Member
22 May, 2019


Police officers in downtown Tunis. Reuters file photo

Tunis - Mongi Saidani

A Tunisian court on Tuesday convicted three female suspects who are the relatives of the perpetrator of a terror attack in the country’s southeastern city of Ben Guerdane.

The three convicts are the mother, wife and cousin and face charges of aiding the attacker. Taking into consideration case realities and the defendants aiding investigations, the court ruling sentenced the mother to two years in jail whilst it gave each of the wife and cousin six months.

According to the case, the mother received a call from her son confirming that he was stuck in the Tunisian desert and that he was in need of help. The mother, in turn, informed the wife and cousin of the call.

All three then drove to the desert in search of the terrorist, who appears to have been abandoned by comrades and first disappeared during the fierce 2016 clashes between security forces and terror networks in Ben Guerdane, which lies on the border with neighboring Libya.

During interrogation, the defendants denied having anything to do with the terrorist’s actions or even adopting extremist ideology. They confirmed that they were not aware of their affiliation with the terrorist organizations and that they sought assisting them while under the impression that they went to work in neighboring Libya to earn an honest living.

The three, however, after learning of their relative’s crimes, aided competent security forces that were hunting down the criminal for arrest.

One of the attacks the terrorist is believed to have taken part was the March 7, 2016 Ben Guerdane clashes pitting armed militias and security personnel. The fighting, which lasted for several days, left 55 militants and 20 soldiers, policemen and civilians dead.

The terror ring, at the time, had planned to take over military barracks, self-declare a “caliphate” and organize larger terrorist attacks with the goal of controlling more Tunisian cities.


 

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Security Council Freezes Assets of 26 Tunisian Terrorists, 3 Organizations
Wednesday, 29 May, 2019


People stand outside a closed court during in Tunis, Tunisia November 22, 2018. REUTERS/Zoubeir Souissi

Tunis - Mongi Saidani

The UN Security Council froze the assets of 26 Tunisians and three organizations involved in terrorism cases. Those included in the council’s list are Ansar Al-Sharia, Uqba ibn Nafi battalion, which is affiliated with al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb, and Jund al-Khilafah.

The list also mentioned a group of dangerous terrorists: Saif Allah Bin Hussein, founder of Ansar al-Sharia who is also accused of several terrorist cases, including the political assassinations in Tunisia in 2013. It also included Mohammed al-Awadi, the military commander of Ansar al-Sharia. Notably, this group has been prohibited in the country since 2013.

The court sentenced Awadi to 20 years in prison for his implication in terrorist activities and planning for political assassinations.

Tunisia’s National Counter-Terrorism Commission President Mokhtar Ben Nasr has announced, since November, the third batch of decisions on freezing funds and economic resources against terrorists.

Omar Hanin, assistant undersecretary of the republic at Ben Arous, denied that the three suspects of the attack on Rades are related to the extremist intellect as rumored by media.

Meanwhile, judicial sources revealed on Saturday that a quarrel erupted between a coffee shop owner and employees in Rades, in addition to four individuals who were in a car. Things later calmed down. After a period of time, they returned with a crowd holding sticks and attacked the shop.

The Tunisian Ministry of Interior confirmed that the attack has no links to extremists.



 

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Tunisian Interior Ministry Searches for 4 Terrorists
Thursday, 30 May, 2019


Police officers in downtown Tunis. Reuters

Tunis - Mongi Saidani

Counter-terrorism forces in Tunisia are searching for three Tunisian and one Algerian terrorists.

The Tunisian Ministry of Interior released information and photos of the wanted. They are Osama al-Khazri, 27, from Jendouba (north-west of Tunisia), Ashraf al-Qizani, 28, from Al-Kaf, Algerian Amin Mahkuka, and Khalil al-Mansouri, 28, originally from Kasserine (in the center of western Tunisia).

Tunisian security sources affirmed that the militants belong to Uqba ibn Nafi battalion, affiliated with al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb, saying they had participated in terrorist attacks, in addition plotting to rob a bank in Kasserine.

The sources added that Tunisian terrorist Raed Touati, who was arrested early May by counter-terrorism forces, revealed to investigators that the four terrorists were plotting attacks on security forces, the army, and vital state facilities.

Tunisian security reports noted that up to 300 militants are believed to be hiding in the western mountains of the country. They are supported by an estimated 300-400 sleeper cells.


 

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Tunisian Security Forces Arrest 3-Member Terror Cell
Monday, 3 June, 2019


Tunisia’s counter-terrorism forces uncovered a three-member takfiri terror cell. (Reuters)

Tunis - Mongi Saidani

Tunisia’s counter-terrorism forces uncovered a three-member takfiri terror cell that was plotting operations in the central-eastern areas between the Mahdia and Sfax regions.

It was headed by an ex-convict affiliated with the banned radical Ansar al-Sharia group and who was indicted in what is known as the Suleiman 2006 terror case.

Counter-terrorism task forces succeeded in arresting all members of the group while they were attempting to rob a wealthy residence.

Well-informed sources said that the terrorists had accused the rich figures of the eastern coast of Tunisia with apostasy and plotted to systematically plunder and pillage their assets.

During preliminary investigations, the suspects confessed to plotting multiple robberies against a host of victims.

They also confessed to abducting a wealthy resident and demanding a ransom from their family in return for their safe release.

After legal proceedings are concluded, it is likely that the suspects will be convicted and face jail time.

Separately, a Tunisian man in his thirties was tried in a criminal court on terror-linked charges.

Investigations revealed that he was in contact with senior leaders in the terror group, ISIS, and was involved in provoking attacks against security forces.



 

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Twin Suicide Bombings Hit Tunisia as Terror Threat Resurfaces
June 27, 2019
By Jihen Laghmari
  • At least one dead and others wounded in central Tunis attacks
  • Tunisia has struggled to revive economy after 2011 uprising

View attachment 8590
Twin suicide bombers struck the Tunisian capital on Thursday, killing at least one policeman, state media reported, in attacks that rekindled fears of fresh unrest in the North African nation.

The first attack occurred near the French Embassy on Tunis’ Charles de Gaulle Street, with the blast killing one policeman and wounding five others, the state-run TAP news agency reported, citing the Interior Ministry. The second attack struck near a building housing anti-terror police, wounding at least four people, TAP said.

Authorities sealed off the streets leading to the area and television footage showed a heavy security presence in the city center, with assault weapon-wielding police officers guarding the scene.

The attacks were the first in the capital in about eight months and ushered in yet more uncertainty in a nation that has prided itself on its democratic gains since the 2011 Arab Spring uprisings, but has struggled to revive the economy.

Tunisia in 2015 endured a spate of terrorist attacks targeting the vital tourism sector. While the assaults have abated, political bickering between rival parties, as well as frequent strikes by powerful unions, have combined to stunt recovery efforts.

 

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Wanted militant blows himself up in Tunisian capital
July 3, 2019
Tarek Amara

View attachment 8978
Authorities inspect the scene after a man reported to be wearing an explosive belt died in the Intilaka area in Tunis, Tunisia July 3, 2019. REUTERS/Zoubeir Souissi

TUNIS (Reuters) - A wanted militant wearing an explosive belt blew himself up in the Tunisian capital after being surrounded by police, the government said on Wednesday, but there were no other casualties.

The third such incident within a week comes months ahead of an election and at the peak of a tourist season in which Tunisia is hoping for a record number of visitors.
Witnesses had told Reuters the man blew himself up in the Intilaka area of the capital, Tunis, after being surrounded by the police. Residents heard a loud explosion.

An interior ministry spokesman said police opened fire on the man, whom authorities described as a wanted militant called Aymen Smiri, without giving further details.

“Following a long chase, special forces surrounded the terrorist,” the interior ministry said in statement. “When forces began shooting, he blew himself up with an explosive belt he was wearing.”

There were no other casualties, it added.

Two suicide bombers blew themselves up in separate attacks on police in Tunis on Thursday, killing one police officer and wounding several people. The Islamic State militant group claimed responsibility for both attacks.

Tunisia has been battling militant groups operating in remote areas near its border with Algeria since an uprising overthrew autocratic leader Zine Abidine Ben Ali in 2011. High unemployment has also stoked unrest in recent years.

Last October, a woman blew herself up in the center of Tunis, wounding 15 people, including 10 police officers, in an explosion that shattered a long period of calm after dozens of people died in militant attacks in 2015.

Security has tightened since authorities imposed a state of emergency in November 2015 after those attacks, one at a museum in Tunis and another on a beach in the Mediterranean seaside town of Sousse. A third attack targeted presidential guards in the capital. Islamic State claimed responsibility.

Reporting by Tarek Amara and Nayera Abdallah; Writing by Ulf Laessing; Editing by Lisa Shumaker and Clarence Fernandez

 

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US Embassy in Tunisia Closes Its Doors for Security Concerns
2 July, 2019 -
View attachment 8989
Workers clean the site of an explosion in the center of the Tunisian capital Tunis, Tunisia October 29, 2018. REUTERS/Zoubeir Souissi

Tunis- Al Mongi Al Saidani

The US Embassy in Tunisia closed doors to the public on Monday due to security reasons.

“Due to security concerns, the US Embassy will be closed to the public on Monday, July 1st, except for emergency services,” it said in a statement.

The embassy is located about five kilometers from the center of the capital, Tunis. Its decision was most likely taken after receiving security and intelligence reports on the movement of terrorist elements.

It came a few days after two separate suicide bombing attacks hit the capital and left a policeman killed and eight others injured amid continued threats of terrorist acts.

Although it didn’t explain the actual reasons behind its decision and the nature of security concerns, yet Tunisian specialists in extremist groups said being cautious is the best that could be one in this case.

The embassy took a precautionary decision, taking into account that it did not protect itself well during the terrorist attack in 2012.

It didn’t take precautionary measures back then to prevent the entrance of extremist elements to the building.

Masses of demonstrators, mostly members of the banned Ansar al-Sharia organization led by Tunisian terrorist Saifullah bin Hussein, aka Abu Iyaad, headed on Friday, September 14, 2012 to the US Embassy in Tunis to protest against the film, Persepolis, which depicts Prophet Muhammad and offends Islam and was directed in the United States.

Demonstrators threw stones at the US diplomatic mission before storming the building and burning part of it.

The American school in the vicinity of the embassy's headquarters was also set on fire, and it was vandalized and looted.

The US mission in Tunisia demanded huge financial compensation, which sparked controversy within the Tunisian parliament.



 

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