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At the time, no group claimed responsibility for the attacks, but suspects arrested after the incident were reportedly AST members. Hence, TRAC cannot and does not warrant the accuracy of the entries in its database. [23] Therefore, AQIM said that it is better to work together than to engage in intra-Islamist infighting, which would only help those with a secular or liberal agenda. The Suleiman Group was built around several jihadists, led by a former Tunisian national guardsman named Lassad Sassi. [10] Abu Iyadh has said that AST “shared in the same manhaj,” or religious methodology, as al-Qa`ida. The relationship between these groups is unclear. Two high profile terrorist attacks targeted tourist sites in 2015: the Bardo National Museum attack in Tunis in March 2015, resulting in the death of 21 people, mostly Europeans, and a mass shooting at the Sousse coastal resort in June 2015, with 38 people killed. Going to war with the state would mean sacrificing its ability to engage in da`wa openly. Asharq Al-Awsat reported in August 2018 that Tunisian authorities had arrested four Tunisians involved in “an international network that smuggles terrorists from Iraq and Turkey towards Europe using forged foreign passports.”   That month, Tunisian authorities reportedly arrested nine Europe-bound terror suspects as they were attempting to leave the country on boat. View the report for this country to stay informed on possible security risks. [12] Daveed Gartenstein-Ross, Ansar al-Shari`a Tunisia’s Long Game: Dawa, Hisba and Jihad (The Hague: International Centre for Counter-Terrorism-The Hague, 2013). (Sources: Newsweek, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, Reuters), Tourism is a major industry in Tunisia. Officials estimate more than a thousand people demonstrated in solidarity with the victims. In 2015, the Tunisian government created the Agency for Defense Intelligence and Security, which served to further increase the army’s role in counterterrorism operations. This article analyzes how AQIM, viewing events in Tunisia through its strategic lens, has responded to that country’s revolution. According to estimates by the Ministry of the Interior, several thousand Tunisian nationals are currently fighting for IS and other armed groups in Iraq, Syria, and Libya, raising fears that they could return to Tunisia to perpetrate attacks. Protesters clashed with police at the headquarters of the Interior Ministry. As of late June 2016, the U.S. had reportedly begun using a Tunisian air base to conduct drone strikes against ISIS targets inside Libya. According to a report published by the Combating Terrorism Center at West Point, it is possible that the KUIN and AST are, in fact, different branches of a single entity, with KUIN responsible for military activities and AST responsible for public outreach and proselytizing. (Sources: Reuters, BBC News, Guardian, Newsweek, Reuters), In 2015, Tunisia suffered two major attacks. TCG co-founder Tarek Maaroufi worked with GSPC networks in Europe, Tunisians trained in GSPC/AQIM camps, and some Tunisiasn radicals were captured or killed by Algerian security services. Kasserine is one of the birthplaces of the Tunisian revolution. On July 10, 2015, U.N. experts estimated that approximately 5,500 Tunisians had traveled to Syria to fight, primarily alongside ISIS, in that country’s civil war. Tunisia’s president said that stopping the return of Tunisian fighters to Tunisia would be unconstitutional. Dann holten Polizisten ihn wieder aus dem Flugzeug. The Tunisian prime minister’s office stated: “The prime minister has decided to close immediately all the mosques that are not under the control of the authorities, and those mosques where there were reported celebrations over the deaths of the soldiers.” (Sources: AllAfrica, Al Jazeera, Al Jazeera, Financial Times, AllAfrica, Al Jazeera), To prevent radicalization, the government has taken steps to replace imams deemed extremist, though not all local communities acquiesced to the changes. In July 2014, during one of the largest terror attacks in the region in recent years, approximately 60 Okba Ibn Nafaa militants armed with rifles and rocket-propelled grenades attacked Tunisian military checkpoints near Jebel Chaambi, the highest mountain in the country. Later, at Brahmi’s funeral, “tens of thousands” of citizens protested against terrorism and called for the overthrow of the Islamist-led government. In April 2016 Tunisia’s Tourism Minister, Salma Elloumi Rekik, urged European nations to lift travel warnings against Tunisia. In December 2016, another Tunisian man, Anis Amri, plowed a truck into a German Christmas market, killing 12 people. Yet the tone of AQIM’s statements shifted less than two months later, as a confrontation heated up with Ennahda and the Tunisian state on one side, and AQIM and AST on the other. Tunisie : Katiba Okba Ibn Nafaa publie une vidéo de « l’attaque de Henchir Ettala » Un compte youtube, « Oka Iben Nafee », a diffusé dans la soirée du 9 mai 2015, une vidéo dans laquelle on voit un camp de l’Armée tunisienne attaquée. Protesters called for the toppling of the Islamist Ennahda-led government, who they felt was complicit in the death. In addition, in late 2015, the Ministry of Religious Affairs established a counter-narrative campaign, “We are Islam,” targeting youth on social media platforms like Twitter and Facebook. The investigation was prompted after a video on social media, that allegedly featured Tunisian national Ibrahim Issaoui, claimed that Al Mahdi was responsible for the attack. Understanding AQIM’s policies toward Tunisia requires an awareness of the group’s perceptions of the changes brought by the Arab uprisings, and how these changes in turn influence its strategy toward the region. During the workshop, the CTED advised Tunisia on issues including law enforcement and border control. Although AST has distanced itself from violence at this time, it has shown a devotion to Salafi-jihadi ideology, a fact that can be seen from both their own explanations and threats,[9] as well as the significant and long-standing connections that leaders and key members of the organization have to transnational jihadists. (Sources: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, U.N. Human Rights, Wilson Center, News24), Tunisians actively condemn Islamic extremism. [13] Although the extent of AST’s relationship with AQIM is unknown, AQIM leaders have repeatedly offered advice to the group on how to proceed in Tunisia. (Sources: Washington Institute For Near East Policy, BBC News, Eurasia Review, Reuters, War on the Rocks), In August 2013, Tunisian security forces seized a list allegedly compiled by AST that included the names of politicians, anti-Islamist media figures, and academics to be assassinated. © 2015-2020 The Arab Weekly. Terrorism out.”  (Sources: Al Jazeera, BBC News), After the 2011 Tunisian Revolution, Seifallah Ben Hassine—who in 2000 founded the Tunisian Combat Group (TCG), a U.S.-designated Foreign Terrorist Organization linked with al-Qaeda—was released from prison and formed Ansar al-Sharia in Tunisia (AST). (Sources: Human Rights Watch, Deutsche Welle, Amnesty International), Tunisia further strengthened legislation against extremism on May 17, 2019, when the government issued Decree 419 called “UN Measures to Prevent Terrorists from Acquiring Weapons of Mass Destruction,” which extended the National Counter Terrorism Commission’s (CNLCT) authority to sanction persons or organizations engaged in material support for terrorism. Mehr Informationen dazu finden Sie in unserer Datenschutzerklärung. Yet with the Arab uprisings and the fall of Ben Ali, AQIM’s reported presence in Tunisia became more visible. Get critical security information from around the world. [44]   “Fifth Mine Explodes in Mount Chaambi, No Victims,” Tunis Afrique Press, May 20, 2013. (Sources: New York Times, Straits Times, New York Times, Huffington Post, Reuters), The second major attack took place on June 26, 2015 when a gunman killed 38 tourists at the Hotel Rui Imperial Marhaba, located north of Sousse in Port El Kantaoui. Der Entwurf verfehlte die nötige Mehrheit. Tunisia has been waging an offensive against the Okba Ibn Nafaa Brigades, claiming the killing of three senior leaders in a security forces raid last month. Authorities also blame the group for the Bardo museum attack. The two countries also agreed to cooperate to combat terror recruitment in their respective countries and to work to deny funding for terror groups. Many of the tourists were from two cruise ships, the MSC Splendida and the Costa Fascinosa, which were at port outside of Tunis. When travel emergencies do occur - whether they are due to accidents, political unrest or natural disasters, the key is response and crisis management. The United States launched airstrikes targeting ISIS’s stronghold in the coastal city of Sirte on August 1, 2016 afte... Country Reports: Extremism and Counter-Extremism, European Ethno-Nationalist and White Supremacy Groups, Al-Qaeda in the Indian Subcontinent (AQIS), Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, Center for Strategic & International Studies, International Centre for Counter-Terrorism, Washington Institute For Near East Policy, U.S. Bureau of International Labor Affairs. Groups and individuals included in TRAC's database range from actual perpetrators of social or political violence to more passive groups that support or condone (perhaps unwittingly) such violence. Sixty-one percent said the government does not sufficiently promote policies that help the country’s youth. [14] Abu Mus`ab al-Wadud, “In Support of the Intifadah of our People in Tunisia,” al-Andalus Media, January 13, 2011. Tunisia’s porous border with Libya has allowed for the free flow of weapons and fighters between the two countries. (Sources: Deutsche Welle, Wilson Center), The Tunisian government typically responds to domestic terror attacks by launching raids and other anti-terror operations. For information on Tunisians training in GSPC/AQIM camps, see Anneli Botha, “Terrorism in the Maghreb: The Transnationalisation of Domestic Terrorism,” Institute for Security Studies, July 2008. (Sources: BBC News, BBC News, The Seattle Times, Reuters, Morocco World News), Since the beginning of 2016, more than 15,000 suspected extremists have been monitored by Tunisian security forces. All such rights are reserved. Tunisia has been under a state of emergency since that massacre, which followed an attack by gunmen on the Bardo museum in the capital Tunis that killed 21 foreign tourists and a policeman in March. The Long War Journal reported that, “Zarrouk [was] known in his [Tunisian] neighborhood as someone who encouraged young people to go for jihad in Syria, which he consider[ed] to be the springboard for establishing an Islamic state from the Gulf to the ocean.” In July 2014, a number of other AST leaders including spokesman Seifeddine Rais followed suit and declared loyalty to ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. Tunisians have been featured heavily in ISIS propaganda, and ISIS has regularly eulogized Tunisian fighters and suicide bombers. (Sources: Reuters, Newsweek, Al Bawaba, Al Masdar, Al Bawaba), The Tunisian government declared a state of emergency in July 2015 after an ISIS gunman killed 38 tourists at a seaside resort hotel in Sousse. (Sources: Combating Terrorism Center at West Point, Center for Strategic & International Studies, Center for Strategic & International Studies, Long War Journal, AllAfrica, Al-Monitor), According to Tunisian Prime Minister Habib Essid, Tunisians are primarily drawn to jihadist groups for ideological and economic reasons. They couldn’t have a normal life….and there’s a lot of lobbying out of this extremism that are looking after those people, and offering them money and activity.” The Salafi jihadist group Ansar al-Sharia in Tunisia (AST) claims to have recruited as many as 70,000 Tunisians since its formation in February 2011, according to a January 2014 Economist report. [49] The attack was conducted by approximately 50 fighters, matching some estimates of the Uqba ibn Nafi Brigade’s size, and reportedly involved a mix of Algerians, Tunisians, and Libyans. (Sources: Al Jazeera, Al Jazeera, Al-Monitor, Reuters, AllAfrica), The Kasserine province, located in northwest Tunisia along the Algerian border, has become what one analyst called “an informal headquarters” for jihadist groups. In September 2012, following the release of the controversial Innocence of Muslims film, AST organized a demonstration at the U.S. embassy in Tunis. (09.03.2017). The initiative is a partnership between research centers in several Tunisian cities and the ministries of interior, defense, and health. According to police, the assailants used homemade explosives. AQIM has a powerful message in the form of its warnings that Tunisians’ hard-won victory over the former regime could be stolen from them. The shooting was claimed by the Okba Ibn Nafaa Brigades, an Al-Qaeda-linked jihadist organisation that has claimed a string of attacks in Tunisia. The politician’s sister stated, “Ennahda killed my brother.” In cities across the country, citizens burned tires and blocked roads. (Sources: Business Insider, Middle East Institute, UN Human Rights, Jordan Times, New York Times, Wilson Center, Washington Institute, Council of Europe), A study conducted by the Tunisian Center for Research and Studies on Terrorism found that 69 percent of Tunisia’s jihadists had traveled to Libya for military training. The Tunisian army has been fighting with groups including the Okba Ibn Nafaa Brigade, KUIN, and JAK-T in the region and, according to a 2018 Carnegie Endowment for International Peace report, over the last seven years 127 Islamic militants and 118 Tunisian … Event. "We are taking measures to transport (the wounded) to a military hospital as soon as possible," he told Mosaique FM radio, adding two guards were in a serious condition. Datenschutz | Referring specifically to Tunisia, he said that “present circumstances…require that the people of monotheism concentrate on the aspect of preaching,” due to ignorance of Islam caused by Zine El Abidine Ben Ali’s fallen regime. (Sources: Middle East Institute, Middle East Online, Business Standard, USA Today, New York Times), Tunisian militants—including the perpetrators of the 2015 Bardo Museum attack and 2015 Sousse attacks—have traveled to Libya to receive training at ISIS camps and many have subsequently gone on to fight in Syria. [33]  Benjamin Roger, “Tunisie: Abou Iyadh, au nez et à la barbe des autorités,” Jeune Afrique, September 18, 2012. The group, however, had difficulties with funding and equipment, and later analysis has theorized that the group posed somewhat less of a threat to Tunisian security than initial reporting suggested. As noted by Zelin, it is likely that the number of Tunisian jihadists in Libya will continue to rise “amid the 2017 collapse of the Islamic State centers in Iraq and Syria.” (Sources: Reuters, Vocativ, Wilson Center, Washington Institute, Washington Institute), Tunisian nationals have also planned and executed a number of significant attacks in Europe. Al-Qaeda claimed responsibility for the attack. The Tunisian army has been fighting with groups including the Okba Ibn Nafaa Brigade, KUIN, and JAK-T in the region and, according to a 2018 Carnegie Endowment for International Peace report, over the last seven years 127 Islamic militants and … [3] Regional security officials, therefore, perceive the incidents on Tunisia’s border with Algeria beginning in late April 2013 as highlighting AQIM’s increased focus on Tunisia. These groups maintain a low-level insurgency, mostly targeting security forces within the western interior region, particularly the mountainous ranges of Kasserine, Kef, and Jendouba governorates. See Stefano M. Torelli, Fabio Merone & Francesco Cavatorta, “Salafism in Tunisia: Challenges and Opportunities for Democratization,” Middle East Policy 19:4 (2012). The Future of Kata’ib Hezbollah and Iran’s Other Proxies in Iraq, Desert Drift, Declining Deadliness: Understanding the Evolution of AQIM’s Suicide Bombings, The Terrorist Lists: An Examination of the U.S. Government’s Counterterrorism Designations Efforts, The Crisis Within Jihadism: The Islamic State’s Puritanism vs. al-Qa`ida’s Populism, The Islamic State’s Strategic Trajectory in Africa: Key Takeaways from its Attack Claims, The End of the Sahelian Anomaly: How the Global Conflict between the Islamic State and al-Qa`ida Finally Came to West Africa, Rising in the East: A Regional Overview of the Islamic State’s Operations in Southeast Asia. After the July 2014 Jebel Chaambi attack that killed 14 Tunisian soldiers, the Tunisian government launched a crackdown on mosques, radio stations, television networks, and websites sympathetic to AST and other jihadist groups operating in the country. Tunisie – Arrestation d’un terroriste de Katibat Okba Ibn Nafaâ et saisie d’un fusil Kalachnikov. (Sources: Washington Post, Washington Post, News Corp Australia Network, Asharq Al-awsat, Independent), Tunisian authorities have sought to better investigate terror cells that allegedly direct Tunisan nationals to carry out attacks abroad. Within Ben Gardane, there are believed to be dozens of ISIS sleeper cells, and an illegal market of weapons and ammunition is known to have historically flowed through the city to neighboring Libya. Le groupe, estimé à quelques dizaines de personnes, est organisé. Seit einem Selbstmordanschlag der Dschihadistengrupe "Islamischer Staat", bei dem im November 2015 in Tunis zwölf Mitglieder der Präsidentenwache getötet wurden, gilt im Land der Ausnahmezustand. In April 2002, a natural gas tanker laden with explosives was detonated on the Tunisian island of Djerba inside El Ghriba synagogue.

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