Tag Archives: Tunisia

Convert Michigan Brothers Charged with Plotting Terror Attack in Tunisia

Tunisia has arrested two American brothers on charges that they were planning a terror attack while in the Mediterranean country.

According to TunisiaLive, the unnamed brothers are from Michigan, are 32 and 33 years old and were renting a house in Jendouba, a city on the northwest side of the country near the Algerian border. Local residents became suspicious of the pair and contacted authorities, the news site said.

A spokesman for Tunisia’s Ministry of Interior said the brothers told police they were studying computer science at the University of Jendouba, but that was doubted as they “were heavily bearded, unwashed and living in poor conditions.”

One is said to have entered into an urfi, or Islamic union not registered with the state, with a Tunisian girl, who was arrested in Tunis today. A security official toldReuters that she had traveled to Syria.

MosaiqueFM reported that the brothers were recent converts to Islam and admitted to investigators that they wanted to “apply the Sharia.” Jihadist materials and plans were reportedly discovered when cops raided their home. Nessma TV reported that those plans outlined intentions to “blow up a number of institutions.” An official told Reuters that the jihadist materials included videos and photos praising ISIS.

TunisiaLive reported that the brothers had United Arab Emirates stamps in their passports.

Tunisia has been particularly on guard about the growth of terrorism since a pair of attacks last year targeted their traditionally lucrative tourism industry. In March 2015, three terrorists attacked the Bardo National Museum, with European tourists comprising the majority of the 22 people killed. Three months later, 40 people were killed — again, most of them on holiday — attacked two resort hotels at Port El Kantaoui near Sousse. Tourism was down 35 percent this year, with tourism originating from the UK down 98 percent in Sousse.

The State Department updated its Tunisia travel warning on Sept. 29 to warn U.S. citizens to “avoid travel to southeastern Tunisia along the Libyan border as well as the mountainous areas in the country’s west, due to the threat of terrorism.”

“Groups of militants continue to operate in the mountains of Western Tunisia, including Jebel Chaambi, Sammama, and Selloum. The Tunisian government continues security force operations against Ansar al-Sharia in Tunisia (AAS-T), ISIL, and al-Qa’ida in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM),” the warning said.

Jendouba was singled out as a city U.S. citizens should avoid “due to the unpredictable security environment.”

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US embassy warns citizens over possible Tunisia mall attack

Tunisian forensics police inspect the scene of a suicide bomb attack in Tunis, Tunisia November 25, 2015. (File photo: Reuters)

Tunisia is under a state of emergency following a suicide bomb attack on a presidential guard bus in Tunis last month. That followed two major militant gun attacks on a Tunis museum and a beach hotel targeting foreign tourists.

A statement late on Saturday advised U.S. citizens to stay away from the Tunisia Mall in Berges du Lac area in the capital on Sunday because a “report of unknown credibility indicates the possibility of a terrorist attack.”

It gave no further details. But Tunisia security forces have been on high alert since the November 24 suicide bombing that killed 12 presidential guards as they boarded a bus to start their tour of duty. The November attack on a main boulevard in the capital underscored the vulnerability of Tunisia to Islamist militancy, following assaults on the Sousse seaside tourist hotel in June and the Bardo Museum in Tunis in March, all claimed by ISIS.

One of the Arab world’s most secular nations, Tunisia has become a target for militants after being praised as a symbol of democratic change in the region since its 2011 uprising ousted autocrat Zine Abidine Ben Ali.

ISIS claims responsibility for Tunisia attack

By REUTERS \CAIRO – Islamic State claimed responsibility on Wednesday for an attack on a Tunisian presidential guard bus, an official statement from the group said.

Tunisian authorities said that a suicide bomber carried out the attack on Tuesday, which killed at least 12 people and forced the government to impose a nationwide state of emergency.