Tunisian Interior Minister Hichem Mechichi said on Thursday that Tunisia is still facing terrorist threats with the escalation of activity of extremist organizations including ISIS during the holy month of Ramadan in order to carry out specific electronic and field operations inside the country.
In addition, the minister made clear during a hearing before the Parliament’s Security and Defense Committee that security services monitored suspicious movements of ISIS media outlets planning to carry out terrorist and electronic terrorist attacks in Tunisia during the month of Ramadan.
Slogans were circulated calling on ISIS members to prepare to monitor targets and prepare themselves secretly to carry out terrorist operations and exploit the sensitive circumstance experienced by the countries that are busy facing the novel coronavirus, in revenge for the killing of its senior leaders, according to the Tunisian minister.
Mechichi described the security situation in the country as “relatively stable”, stressing that the security units are ready to deal with any terrorist operations, and continue their tasks in the field of supporting systems to secure some national and political figures that may be under threat, vital installations, and attain the highest levels of vigilance and caution in various sites.
Tunisia Witnesses Number of ISIS Attacks
Following the revolution of 2011, the month of Ramadan in Tunisia was associated with terrorist operations, which forced the authorities to increase the level of caution and precaution against any threat to the country in this month, during which three consecutive years (2013, 2014 and 2015) witnessed bloody terrorist operations, which killed dozens of police, army and foreign tourists.
On July 25, 2013, the politician, Mohamed Brahimi, and the then-member of the National Constituent Assembly, was assassinated by the opposition in front of his house in Tunis.
A year later, 15 soldiers were killed in a terrorist attack during Iftar time in Jabal al-Shaanbi in the province of Kasserine, in the west of the country. It is considered one of the deadliest attacks committed against the Tunisian army forces.
On June 26, 2015, a terrorist attack took place on the “Rio Imperial Marhaba” hotel in the tourist area of El Kantaoui near the city of Sousse in eastern Tunisia, killing 38 tourists, most of them British.
The Tunisian authorities say that they have achieved great security successes by eliminating most of the terrorist leaders and preventing other terrorist operations from occurring, but they did confirm that the threats remain, with dozens of terrorists loyal to al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb, and ISIS, in the Mughila Mountains, Samama and al-Shaanabi in the Kasserine Governorate and other highlands on the border with Algeria in the provinces of El Kef, Jendouba, and Sidi Bouzid.
Tunisian Security Killed 2 Senior Terrorists
Last February, Tunisian Ministry of Interior Spokesman Hossam Eddine Djababli confirmed the death of two senior terrorists in security operations in the country’s western Kasserine governorate.
The first eliminated terrorist, Bassam Al-Ghunaimi, who operated under the alias Abi Sakher Al-Zaqmout, was involved in a group of massacres of Tunisian citizens. He also participated in a number of terrorist operations that targeted the security forces and the army.
As for the second terrorist –who was wounded and was found dead the following day– he was called Hafiz Rahimi and belonged to the ISIS offshoot Jund al Khilafa.
Security forces seized Kalashnikov weapons, a large quantity of live ammunition, and night vision gear.
Ghunaimi was involved with terrorists since 2013 but was officially recruited by al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb AQIM in 2014. In 2015, he defected and joined Jund al Khilafa.
A heavy exchange of fire took place before Ghunaimi and Rahimi were killed.
In 2015, Ghunaimi partook in a terrorist attack that targeted a military unit. The attack resulted in the death of a soldier and the injury of others.
During the period between 2015 and 2019, Ghunaimi participated in the slaughter of Mabrouk Al-Sultani, Khalifa Al-Sultani, Tunisian soldier Saeed Al-Ghazlani, and Mohammed Al-Akhdar al-Makhloufi. In 2018, he led multiple robberies that targeted banking institutions in the city of Kasserine.
Ghunaimi was involved in raids against homes in the Kasserine Mountains. He was also responsible for planting mines that targeted security and military units, as well as the manufacture of explosives.